Popular Washington pub The Blue Bell Inn hits ground running with reopening - and thanks loyal customers who helped raise £,1400 through Budweiser Save Pub Life Campaign

A popular pub is celebrating a successful reopening after regulars helped keep the venue afloat during lockdown

By Sam Johnson
Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 6:00 am
Landlady of the Blue Bell Inn, Lisa Dorman
Landlady of the Blue Bell Inn, Lisa Dorman

The Blue Bell Inn, in Peareth Hall Road, Washington, was forced to close along with every pub in the UK in March as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Landlady Lisa Dorman was determined the pub would hit the ground running with its reopening – and has thanked kindhearted regulars who helped it do just that.

Customers raised £1,400 to support the pub through Budweiser’s Save Pub Life Campaign.

The Blue Bell Inn, Washington.

The scheme allowed drinkers to buy gift vouchers during lockdown to use when pubs reopened, with Budweiser matching the amount spent and giving it to the pub.

Lisa said: “It was devastating having to close. I know lots of people had to close their businesses and it was hard for them all, but living in a pub that I couldn't open was soul-destroying.

"But I never once thought that we may not reopen. I have put my heart and soul into this place and there was no way I would give up.”

Lisa said she has had great feedback from customers since reopening, and is enormously grateful for all their support.

She said: “Reopening has been great. All of our regulars have been back at some point and we are doing well under the circumstances. Our customers have been very supportive throughout.”

Since reopening, the pub has introduced a number of social distancing measures, including table service, spaced out tables, sanitizing stations and a one-way system.

The Blue Bell Inn occupies the site of the former High Usworth School, which was founded with a legacy from education pioneer Susan Peareth, the Lady of Peareth Hall in the 1800s.

Mrs Peareth, who was born in 1752, is known for her work with poorer families and children, teaching them numeracy, reading and writing. At the time, there were very few schools in existence for

the poor.

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