Northampton pub landlady says effects of government's Freedom Day U-Turn are 'soul destroying'

"The pub company who owns my site came round and asked me why I haven't made any money - it was soul destroying"

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:28 pm
The Live and Let Live in Harpole (left) and Miranda Clare (right)

A Northampton pub landlady has described the government's lockdown extension and the ramifications of it as 'soul destroying'.

Miranda Clare, who is the landlady at The Live and Let Live in Harpole, reacted to the news on Monday (June 14) that the government has delayed 'Freedom Day' until July 19.

Boris Johnson said the current measures must remain in place until July 19 because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

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Miranda said: "It's dreadful, not just for pubs but the whole hospitality industry.

"Why do we keep being told to get this, do that and you can have that? Everybody is doing what they should be doing and yet we can't seem to move forward.

"The pub company who owns my site came round and asked me why I haven't made any money - it was soul destroying. I know how hard I am working, how hard I am trying. It's basically someone saying 'you're not doing a good job' when I know I am. That's hard. Without a doubt this is happening all across the country.

"There is no more support for us from the government. All the support stopped for us back in March while everyone else is still on furlough."

Miranda went on to explain just how difficult it has been for her, and other landlords and ladies, during the pandemic.

She said: "Before lockdown my pub was thriving, but now, my husband is working seven days a week to support me financially, he's working to keep me afloat.

"I'm still planning and putting on events but with very little in the bank, both financially and emotionally. I am so low.

"Who am I even doing it for? I'm opening the doors every day but seeing the same 10 people. It's difficult."

The landlady said that she believes people's habits are now changing and that any sort of spontaneity has been removed from life.

She said: "My 10 regulars can't sit together in the pub, so what do they do? They don't come out. They don't want to shout across the pub to each other.

"Other people have started going round each other's homes because they don't want the hassle of booking a table here there and everywhere.

"People aren't scared anymore. They've had their vaccines, they're not scared. Their habits have changed, it's the hassle behind coming out. We just want to be able to be spontaneous. We are social creatures. People are fed up.

"We were so quiet for the football the other day. I took a drive around town and everywhere was quiet. Really quiet. You can't stand up to cheer; pubs haven't got enough tables for everyone."

According to research, a lot of pubs across the country have either shut their doors or are expected to close due to the effects of the pandemic.

Miranda responded to this by saying: "I think it's horrendous. We are talking about people's homes. A lot of landlords live above their properties. They would lose their homes, they would lose their livelihoods. Then they are left with a lot of debt, then bankruptcy, then there's the mental health aspect of it all - it's going to go through the roof."

The Live and Let Live has a ranged of events on this summer including a special Father's Day on Sunday, live outdoor music next Saturday (June 26) and then more live music in July.