Hardy Northampton pub-goers make the most of stormy bank holiday Monday

'We contemplated closing yesterday afternoon as it was so awful but we ended up having a pretty normal day'

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 3:54 pm

The worst weather since pubs reopened after the lockdown falling on bank holiday Monday was far from ideal but hardy customers made the best of it yesterday (Monday, May 3).

Strong winds, torrential rain and cold temperatures made for an uncomfortable meal or drink in a pub garden but people were not going to let the extra day off go to waste.

Overstone Manor manager Ross Messinger said they were very thankful for their new pergolas installed before reopening last month and revellers lasted as long as possible.

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"Lunch was great to be fair and people were huddled together in their groups under the shelter but as the winds picked up it got a lot quieter," he said.

"We're very lucky and count our blessings that the two big pergolas can have 20 tables underneath.

"But we have sister pubs in town that were really struggling and didn't open at all yesterday as they have no shelter when there's adverse weather."

Coats, blankets and even hot water bottles were essentials for many customers marking the bank holiday with friends and family.

The Narrow Boat at Weedon on a sunnier day

Marquees helped to keep off the worst of the weather but could be hard to get a seat inside one of those.

The Sheaf Inn in West Haddon got such a battering by the wind that the cover was ripped off one of its marquees, causing £500 worth of damage.

Karen Bray, who owns The Narrow Boat in Weedon Bec, felt fortunate that their gazebo survived, especially as it has been completely full since April 12 and the next few weekends.

"We contemplated closing yesterday afternoon as it was so awful but we ended up having a pretty normal day because of the gazebo," she said.

"A few people asked for takeaways instead of coming, which we're still doing so that's quite good if people can't come out or don't want to because of the weather.

"We've got a couple of big brollies with heaters underneath but no one was brave enough to go under those which is understandable!"

Despite the typical British weather, both Ross and Karen said they have been thrilled with how busy they have been since reopening.

Lots of people have been simply enjoying being allowed out again while they have also hosted birthday and anniversary celebrations.

Ross said: "We have been doing absolutely beyond any expectations we had.

"We have been heaving. It's really good, even last week when had some showers and even then we've been blown away - people just keep coming.

"I think only 40 per cent of pubs are open but 100 per cent of pub-goers want to go out - so it's been really successful."