Community Spirit – Episode 12

DURING the course of the week, Nate weeded the car park, moved the bins and painted the bench-tables. The outside of the pub now looked welcoming.

He also bought a diary in which to keep a note of all the meetings and events going on in the pub.

Thursday morning, Nate found a tin of white paint which he used to paint over cracks in the render while the bowls team had a practice roll-up on the green.

Nate knew it all needed painting, but that was too big a job for one man in a day, especially as the bowls team had finished and was heading his way, led by Arthur Regis.

By this time, the notebook had several pages of ideas which Nate was grouping under the headings Community, Evening, Events, Competitions. He would then hone the best ideas before putting them into action. The bar was also restocked, and the pumps had been thoroughly flushed through.

“A bag of cheese and onion, please,” one of the bowls players said as he waited for his pint.

Nate handed the crisps over.

“Any plans to start doing food again?” the man asked.

Others turned to listen to Nate’s answer and Arthur gave him a hopeful look.

“Not at the moment,” Nate confessed.

“You should,” a tall man with a dark moustache put in. “The Mucklebury Arms always did good food.”

“Real pub grub,” another added. “Not over-priced gastro-pub stuff they do at the Goose. No, good honest British pub food they used to do here. Steak and kidney pie, scampi and chips, sandwiches like doorstops, that kind of thing.”

Arthur raised his eyebrows at Nate.

“The equipment is there in the kitchen,” Nate said. “Do you think there would be demand for it?”

“There always was,” Arthur replied.

“What happened?”

Arthur puffed out his cheeks.

“About eighteen months ago the chef left and was never replaced. That’s when it started to go downhill.” There was a murmur of agreement in the group.

“But now there’s someone decent in charge, and a bit of stability, you can bring it back again,” the man with the moustache added.

Nate and Arthur exchanged glances.

“So, what about this team from Lower Cruddock on Saturday? Hadn’t we better work on our strategy?”

Nate winked his thanks at Arthur, who steered the group away from the bar.

He took out his notebook and began to write.


Alison Cook