Community Spirit – Episode 21

“I HAVE some ideas I’d like to talk you through,” Nate said, coming round to the front of the bar to face the Evensong crowd. “The closure of the community centre makes it more vital that we save the pub. The lack of other facilities, along with the lack of support from the Goose, has been beneficial for us. As well as the WI relocating here, I’ve picked up the Spanish lessons and the debating society, and have persuaded the cake decorating and Italian cookery classes to use the kitchen facilities.”

“Bravo!” Pam said. “What an effort you’ve made.”

“Has anyone been over to the Goose to ask about relocating there?” Meredith asked.

“I think Mr Garcia went over, but was sent away with a flea in his ear,” the major put in.

“It does seem short-sighted, from a business perspective,” Pamela added.

“I think Fergus’s business model for the Goose is as a place for refined country dining for the townies,” Nate said, “which leaves us as the dependable community resource – which suits me just fine.”

“True,” Meredith agreed.

“Talking of which,” Nate continued, “local ales are very popular. Do you think a beer festival would go down well? Celebrating a few local brews and maybe some guest beers?”

“Our summer fayre is in three weeks,” Pamela said, “so why don’t we make it a joint event? We have food stalls and crafts out on the green, but it does tend to be a bit of an event for the ladies. This way the men will come, too!”

“Excellent idea,” the major said, eyeing the book Nate was clutching. “What else have you got?”

“How about resurrecting the pub quiz team, or even the darts team, as a way of bringing in evening trade? We could take on the Goose for our first quiz. A friendly derby, as it were.”

“Wonderful idea,” Frank said. “I used to love doing the questions for the quiz team. I could help you out. What about this Friday?”

“That would be great,” Nate replied. “Do you think you could pull a quiz together that quickly?”

“No problem at all.” Frank beamed.

“That’s settled then,” Arthur stated. “I’ll draw up leaflets on my computer.”

“But who could run the darts team?” Miss Grace asked. “I’m not sure any of us have a good aim.”

“You don’t need a good aim to manage the team,” Arthur pointed out, looking at the major. “Just strong leadership skills and a fighting spirit.”

The major looked pleased.

“I could help out – on one condition,” he said.

“What?” Nate asked.

“I won’t be involved in any of this ‘friendly’ malarkey,” he said. “We play to win, or we don’t play at all!”

“Well said.” Pamela smiled.

“Let’s crush the Goose!” Frank cried, shaking a fist in the air.


“Sorry, Miss Grace,” Frank apologised.

“Despite mild-mannered appearances, you are rather competitive, aren’t you, Frank?” Meredith smiled at her husband.

Alison Cook