Many of us are missing a visit to our local hostelry, but a small pub in Ringwood is ensuring that it won’t be forgotten.
The London Tavern in Poulner has been running lockdown quizzes over Facebook which have built a worldwide following.
Entrants from as far north as the Shetland Islands and as far south as Australia log on to watch the landlord Phil Hoyle host the competition.
Phil moved his pub quiz online during the first lockdown – and has continued ever since.
Hundreds tune in each week not only to answer questions but to be entertained by the antics of the host.
Phil drinks enthusiastically through the quizzes, commenting on the various ales and offering insights into the bar snacks that he consumes, especially pork scratchings.
During the lockdowns he has presented himself with the ‘employee of the month’ award with great ceremony.
He entertains viewers with updates about the pub and tales of nights out drinking.
Often he is rebuked by his mother who sends him text messages telling him off if his language becomes too fruity.
The quiz questions are set by a pub regular identified only as ‘Spudders’ who always includes words he knows Phil will find difficult to pronounce.
Teams – names of which include No Direction and The Wuhan Clan – send in answer sheets to the local Round Table website, but everything is done on trust.
Spudders’ answers are always final – even if they’re wrong.
Phil, who has spent the lockdown helping his community and providing free meals to key workers said, “It’s been a huge surprise that people who don’t know anything about the pub and have never been are joining us every Thursday at 8pm.
“The quiz is meant as a bit of fun and many people say it has helped them through the lockdowns.
“We’ve also hosted some live music over Facebook and we’ll keep doing it until we can open properly and have people back in.
“We’re only a small pub, a bit out of the way, but we’ve received huge support from the community and we’ve been doing our bit.
“All being well we’ll reopen on 12 April and we’ll probably still do the quizzes on Facebook as well as ‘live’ in the pub.”
Phil and fiancée Sarah Williams have run the London Tavern for three years.
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