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A country pub near Haverhill is making the most of what it has to offer to aid its reopening




The owner of a country inn is putting its natural charms to good use as he returns to business following a 15-week enforced Covid-19 closure.

David Rowlinson had to close the Hundon Plough on March 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic but last Saturday he reopened.

Like everyone in the pub sector, David has had to introduce numerous Covid-19 safety measures, including two metre social distancing signs and floor markings, hand sanitizing stations and a more rigorous cleaning regime.

David Rowlinson has used positioning of the beams at the Hundon Plough to create a more natural partitioning system for customers. Picture by Mark Westley.
David Rowlinson has used positioning of the beams at the Hundon Plough to create a more natural partitioning system for customers. Picture by Mark Westley.

But he also came up with a way of using the pub’s wooden beams to good affect.

“Some people are putting up acrylic screens but I thought, as we have got these old beams we would have some boards made and we have painted them and mounted them so it will create more of a separation,” said David.

“I would like to think that getting these boards in place will give people the confidence to feel that they are being separated and that they have their own little space.”

Social distancing with the added bonus of a great view at the beer garden at the Hundon Plough. Picture by Mark Westley
Social distancing with the added bonus of a great view at the beer garden at the Hundon Plough. Picture by Mark Westley

David and his wife Marion had run the pub from 1992 to 2006 when they leased it to another company and retired but last October he took the lease back on again.

Six months later the pandemic intervened and he had to close and furlough all of his staff – some of whom have now returned to work.

He said: “We had a very good Christmas and things were going very well and the trade was building nicely until coronavirus hit.

“It’s all been a bit challenging but I tried to look on the positive side and caught up with a lot of the jobs I had been meaning to do for some time.”

The pub benefits from a half an acre beer garden with a fantastic view and lots of picnic tables, offering outdoor dining and social distancing in one.

Saturday’s weather turned out to be less summery than hoped for, but it actually worked in David’s favour.

He said: “If it was the weather we had hoped for we would have been overwhelmed but it turned out alright. We had a nice steady flow through.”


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