Story and image courtesy of Wetherspoon News Summer/Autumn 2023
Left to right are pub managers Peter Bryan (The Wagon & Horses, Chapeltown), Beth Burns (The Queens Hotel, Maltby) and Rick Brown (The Woodseats Palace, Woodseats)
Wetherspoon always aims to offer its staff and customers the best possible pub experience.
Whether as a work place or a socialising space, a safe environment is of paramount importance to everyone.
Wetherspoon’s pub managers and staff work closely with their local police forces and pubwatch groups, making every effort possible to ensure that the safety of staff and customers is placed as a high priority.
Wetherspoon’s pubs are actively involved, across the UK, in 537 local pubwatch schemes.
Many of these local initiatives are chaired by Wetherspoon’s pub managers.
At three pubs in and around Sheffield, three pub managers are actively involved in their respective pubwatch groups.
Pub manager Peter Bryan, who has run The Wagon & Horses (Chapeltown) since October 2021, has been chair of Chapeltown pubwatch since March 2023.
The group, which covers the S35 postcode area and includes around 20 venues, communicates via a WhatsApp group and is supported by an excellent hands-on local police licensing officer.
Peter said: “As chair, my main role is to ensure that everyone is communicating and that, when it comes to where we stand with issues and antisocial behaviour, we are all on the same page.
“If someone disrupts in one pub, they could do the same in another.
“No single pub wants to be known for a ‘barring culture’, so we must ensure that we all stand firm together.
“A zero-tolerance, united front helps to create a positive environment for everyone so this is a real community effort.
“The Wagon & Horses is an open space for everyone – and we must do everything we can to keep it as a safe environment.”
Pub manager Beth Burns has run The Queens Hotel (Maltby) for the past four years.
The pub has always been part of a small (currently a seven-venue membership) pubwatch scheme.
Beth was voted as vice-chair a year ago and is helping to bring the local pubs together to tackle ongoing issues.
Beth said: “We’re a real community pub and work hard to support many local community projects, as well as taking part in various charity fundraising efforts.
“Pubwatch has brought several local venues closer, as we try to work together for the community, although we do need more people on board.
“If we all work together, we can actively do something positive.
“With additional police support and continued communications, the pubwatch scheme will help to bring about change for the better.”
Rick Brown took over as pub manager at The Woodseats Palace (Woodseats) in October 2022, when previous pub manager Josh Bell moved to The Rawson Spring (Sheffield).
Rick also took on the role of chair of the local pubwatch scheme (Sheffield postcode S8), also previously held by Josh.
Sheffield-born Rick, who has worked for Wetherspoon for eight years, reported: “Our S8 pubwatch scheme, established for several years, is a big group with around 28 venues.
“I took over as chair in November 2022, after Josh moved, and one of the first things I did was to visit the other venues.
“I wanted to find out what the main issues are, what we are all up against and draw up an action plan.
“It is all about assisting one another, helping out and sharing door staff when needed and, basically, to have one another’s back.
“It is bringing us closer together as a community.”
Logistically, The Woodseats Palace is in a great position, located on a busy main road and, quite literally, across the road from the police station.
Rick concluded: “Police officers often come to the pub for lunch breaks, which helps to build a good relationship.
“Working together through pubwatch, sending a collective message to any potential troublemakers, will help everyone.”