Flocking to the pub... Sheep pens help pub-goers socially distance in upper Teesdale
WHEN there is a problem you can always rely on a farmer to make a plan – and nowhere is this more true than in the upper dale.
So, when Langdon Beck Hotel needed to come up with a solution to enforce social distancing measures as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, the obvious solution they came up with was to create seating bay areas using sheep pens.
The pens were borrowed from the organisers of Langdon Beck Sheep Show, which has been cancelled.
Landlady Sue Matthews said: “Paul Johnson, one of the local farmers, offered to do it for me. I was quite chuffed with it when we did it.”
The new bays have not only carefully cordoned off the seating arrangements in the outdoor area in front of the hotel, but they also protect customers from traffic passing along the adjacent B2677.
The hotel reopened on July 4 after being closed for more than three months.
Mrs Matthews said: “Saturday was better than expected but Sunday lunch was a bit slow. We have extended the Sunday lunch from noon to 5pm in the hope that people who are a bit nervous can come out a bit later after the peak. When people come they feel reassured because we have got quite a lot of space.
“One lady who came for Sunday lunch said it was the best experience she had had in four months.”
Although screens have been put up, the hotel is offering table service and contactless mobile card machines so people do not need to go to the bar counter. All staff wear visors and masks.