Day XV – Delay to Brown Bear Relaunch

Dear Berwick-upon-Tweed

We must announce a delay to the re-opening of the Brown Bear Inn, to Thursday 8 December 2016.

ALL is going well – just we don’t have a clairvoyant on site, yet.

Just telephone lines taking time to get in place because the Brown Bear Inn street address and post code wasn’t registered with Royal Mail (though they said it used to be!). Until this happens the Phone Coop (or any other phone line supplier) can’t supply lines anywhere in case of emergency call out, such as the fire brigade being called to a street number (27 Hide Hill in this instance) that doesn’t match up with a post code and end up being held up trying to find the premises the emergency call was made from. Makes a lot of sense really, but that postcode street address test is only done once the contract is agreed and; Bingo.

Then card machines can’t be ordered fully until telephone lines are booked and we know the numbers (this happened 30 November, yesterday) and there are a few bits and pieces (such as we discover the beer lines are from Vaux days and most likely were installed in the 1990’s.)

However, we are a Public House and expect to serve perfect beer, and that can’t be done on such old lines.

Above is the news piece from the Berwick Advertiser announcing the above, with many thanks to Ian Smith for following our progress so diligently.

guest-post-the-woolpack-inn-york-berwick-brown-bear

Guest Post: ‘Why the Brown Bear WILL work’

“Thursday 8th December – there must be something in the air!

I would have jumped on a train and been there for the launch as you know, but it just so happens we have a pub relaunch of our own going on that night down here in York.

The Brown Bear is a wonderful project, and it could not be in better hands. It WILL work, and Berwick will be the richer for it.

How can I be so sure? Well because I know you for one thing, and I know what a power for good you have been for all things pub-related over the years. But also because I know how possible it is to reinstate pubs from my own experience, having been involved in similar projects with three ex-pubco freeholds in my home city.

The Slip Inn, Volunteer Arms and Woolpack Inn in York were all in the same boat as The Brown Bear. Used up, neglected and discarded by asset-sweating/stripping pubcos (along of course with the unfortunate tenants who were expected to manage under the impossible terms of their tied rental agreements).

As you know, thousands of such pubs have been lost forever due to the disposal practices of their corporate owners, but a lucky few escape the rapacious developers and the opportunistic supermarket chains and find themselves in the hands of devoted new owners, who are prepared to invest the time, care, effort and (inevitably) the certain amount of money required to begin the recovery process, which is exactly what the Brown Bear is receiving from you and your amazing band of volunteer assistants at this moment.

May the Brown Bear and The Woolpack both begin their long awaited journeys into a brighter future on 8th December, and may both serve as beacons for your concept of pubs lovingly reclaimed by and for the people.

I’ll be raising a glass to you all on the night.

Long live The People’s Pub Partnership!

RSVP – The Woolpack Inn – Relaunch Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/701123070044457

Day VIII – Explore the History of the Brown Bear

We’ve been busy! While the on the ground team are beavering away repairing the Bear, behind the scenes others are doing important work delving into the history of the pub and its relationship to Berwick’s Sense of Place… while yet more good people work diligently on the challenging task of selecting beers, wines, spirits, a range of delicious nutritious sustaining non alcoholic ‘beverages’ and what’s going on the food side of things…

Follow this link https://vimeo.com/192944166 to see our short film featuring
Jim Herbert introducing Brown Bear Inn to the 21st century with historical context #BringBackTheBear

With thanks to Jason Thompson our social enterprise film maker guru from Sound Ideas Media http://www.soundideasmedia.com/

Day II – Power Cut at the Brown Bear

Work halted briefly today at the Brown Bear due to a massive power cut. Alarms were set off up and down Hide Hill and we thought we must have done something to a cable – even though we didn’t!

Power Cut, Brown Bear, Berwick

But we took the opportunity to lay down our tools and stop working anyway, so that our friend Jason Thompson could ask some questions and take some shots and interviews in order to record the progress of our mission.

Below are some of the latest photos of developments.

Brown Bear, Berwick

Brown Bear Inn

The Brown Bear in Berwick

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