Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Pub: The British institution that will never die out

The state of the economy has put many peoples lifestyles and jobs under threat. On a local level one lifestyle has been affected in areas all over the country is that of the pub landlord.

At the beginning of this year it was found that pubs were closing at an alarming rate of 29 per week. There are several contributing factors to this which include the rising prices of your average pint, increases in VAT and the matter of people not having as much money to spend freely. In 2001 the average price of a pint was £2, 2011 has seen that figure rise to £3.

If beer prices to continue to rise the way they are by 2018 a pint could cost £4.

The gap between prices in pubs and prices in the supermarket has widened as well to a measurable gap. The competition between supermarkets for business has also meant a further reduction in prices or we see continuing offers presented to the consumer, which pubs cannot compete with.

Harold Turner is the landlord at the George and Dragon pub in Mosborough and talks of how his pub has been affected in recent times;

“We have definitely seen a decrease in income since this time last year. It really is a shame but after talking to some of the regulars in the pub it just transpires that people do not have the spare money to be in here every night having a couple of pints. Instead they come every now and then for a couple. Sure you still get the odd person in here everyday but it is very rare now.”

“When I first came into ownership of the pub in 2004 every evening from around six o’clock we would be packed out and the atmosphere was amazing, now it is just on the weekends and quiz night. Other pubs closing in the area has meant that we have still maintained good numbers here. It is upsetting that the other pubs have had to close but I’m afraid that’s the way the industry has gone. If it wasn’t them it would have been me.”

Local pubs have also been forced to change a lot in order to keep their customers happy and willing to part with their money. People now expect affordable and quality food when you visit your local pub so kitchen staff has now become an integral part to the success of many pubs. With a lot of pubs now being owned by a larger corporation the pressure is continually on the landlords of family run pubs.

John Moorcroft is a chef at a pub in Halfway;

“There certainly is a lot of pressure on me to make sure every dish I serve is of a good quality. I also have to make sure that I am producing all your pub favorites as well as offering something alternative and different to make sure I keep the punters happy and coming back for more. One bad experience could mean that a customer goes looking elsewhere which is not what we want.”

The local pub is also the source of entertainment for many. Pub quizzes, Karaoke nights and charity events are all something extra pubs offer to keep people happy and make a bit of extra cash on certain nights. One form of entertainment which is currently costing landlords a lot more than it should is the license to broadcast football matches.

The pub provides a great atmosphere for watching the beautiful game on a big screen with a pint in hand and many fellow supporters and rivals around you, however this is increasingly under threat because of the hiking prices it costs for the TV license.

However the prices are under review after a landlady in Portsmouth won a European high court case against the English premier league, which allowed her to stream premier league, matches through a Greek television operator. This meant that the English premier league had to completely re think TV rights and how much they charge. However this is still going to be ongoing for years to come until a final decision is made.

Rob Gerrard, 22, from Mosborough is a keen Manchester United fan;

“Of course living here I can’t really go to games on a regular basis which means every Saturday I am often in the pub watching the mighty reds. When my local pub closed down it forced me to go to another pub to watch the games. The atmosphere is the same but I can’t help thinking that if football rights were more affordable then maybe my local wouldn’t of closed down.”

The past couple of years have certainly been a tough time for pub landlords all over the country. The pub is a British institution which although is under threat will never be extinct. However it is survival of the fittest. When you are a pub that is not backed by one of these big corporate pub machines with millions behind you, it really is a challenging time to provide for your customers everything they want and that bit extra to make a successful living.

A pub landlord does need to provide good and competitive prices, quality food and entertainment, but above all else all the customer wants is a friendly face and a listening ear, with those I’m sure success will not be a problem.

By Jonathan Bayliss

Original XV out to prove they still have it after 25 years.

This year sees Mosborough RUFC celebrate 25 years of competing in senior men’s rugby. To mark this event a very special rugby match has been organized. The final bank holiday in May will see the current team taking on the original XV who founded the team.

Alan Treloar the senior coach at Mosborough thought up the idea after talking to one of the original XV:

“We thought it would be a nice way to celebrate 25 years of playing at a competitive level. With a lot of the old boys still knocking around and able to play it should be a fun match.”

The match is a finale to a weekend of events, which will see the club rising money to continue the development of its junior teams and club grounds.

Heidi Newman is the clubs volunteer coordinator who has had a big part in organising the weekend’s activities:

“When Alan approached me with the idea of the game I thought it would be an excellent way to get the whole club involved in the weekend as well as a lot of the local people around the town.”

The weekend will see all players taking place in a mixed tournament of tag rugby as well as several stalls set up by local traders and the rugby club itself. The seniors vs old XV will be the finale on the Sunday.

The club was founded in 1984 when a group of ex. Westfield School pupils decided they needed an excuse to go to the pub at weekends.

Its first competitive season was the 1985/86 season where the club lost all its games.

Since then the club has gone from strength to strength competing on all levels.

By Jonathan Bayliss

'Please Mr Postman' hits number one with one particular girl in town.

A hidden talent was discovered in Halfway this week after a piece of music brought out the voice within.

Joan Phillips, 55, from Halfway was in her back garden when she discovered the new talent in the form of her three-year-old pet Labrador, Maisy.

“I was in the garden when I heard Maisy barking so I presumed something was wrong” said the librarian who lives on station road.

“I had left my radio playing in the kitchen and found that Maisy had taken particular liking to a song by The Carpenters.”

Maisy was barking along to the much-loved song ‘please mr postman’ by the 1970s soft rock duo.

Mrs Phillips had no recollection before this of Maisy’s talents with songs. Since the outburst though Maisy has been a queit girl.

Mrs Phillips said:

“I went and bought The Carpenters CD after this and Maisy stayed very quiet until the postman song came on, then she was barking her heart out again”.

Since the discovery maisy has been dsplaying her talents to numerous amount of neighbours and it has brought a nice piece of entertainment to the local area.

“I might have her go for Britain’s Got Talent next year” Mrs Phillips said of Maisy.

Keith Smith is a local dog trainer who wanted to lend his advice after hearing about the remarkable talents Maisy had to offer:

“Dogs often respond differently to a number of ques. It is strange however that in this case, Maisy only responds to the one song. Maybe she has a thing for postmen”

by Jonathan Bayliss

Pupils get extra boost as local rugby club lends a hand

Mosborough primary school is holding its annual fun run next week, in the run up the pupils received some training tips from some experienced athletes.

Mosborough RUFC players came down to the school to give their assistance to pupils taking part in the race next Wednesday.

The players had come down to the school to take an extra curriculum rugby session set up by the club. It is part of their expansion into the community project where they ant to bring through rising talent.

John Knight, Mosboroguh RUFC vice captain said:

“It was a great opportunity to come down to the school and teach the kids about rugby. Once we heard about the fun run we wanted to offer some advice because a lot of us are running the Sheffield half marathon soon.”

Both teachers and pupils were thrilled that they were able to help out and give the pupils further advice.

Mosborough RUFC hopes to continue teaching school children in the area about the game of rugby.

Chris Rosling-Josephs is the chair of the governors at the school, after hearing about the opportunity presented by Mosborough RUFC he said:

“It really is great for the kids to be able to see some local athletes who impact the community in a positive way. We hope to continue building our good relationship with the rugby club and hopefully these sessions will become more regular.”

By Jonathan Bayliss

What do you think?

would you like to see more sports teams get involved in the local community?

email us at: opinions@mosboroughandhalfwaytelegraph.co.uk

Monday, 2 May 2011

Something Spooky in Sheffield

UFO’s, aliens, ghosts, spirits...whatever you want to call these paranormal phenomenon’s there is constantly a debate to whether they really exist.

Over the years there have been hundreds of these potential UFO and ghost sightings across Sheffield and South Yorkshire but no area of the city seems to have had as many reports as Mosborough, seemingly the paranormal hot bed of South Yorkshire.

Mosborough Hall Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the steel city and rumours of ‘The White Lady’ roaming the rooms and corridors have meant specialist teams from Sheffield Paranormal Investigations have had to study the hotel. The team found dozens of signs of ghostly goings on such as strange lights, orbs and actual sightings of pale figures walking past windows.

Mosborough Hall Hotel

The hotel is also said to have gone through many different owners and tragedy has always befell their family in some way. Is this all an eerie coincidence or is there something darker happening in Mosborough?

Shannon Johnson, 19, a local college student who lives close to the hotel certainly thinks theres more too it than coincidence. She said she has noticed strange occurrences at the hotel for as long as she can remember. “The hotel has always freaked me out. I remember when I was younger me and my friends used to dare each other to run up to the building when it was dark and one time I saw a face staring at me from the window.”

However, the hotel is not the only place there have been out of ordinary sightings in the city. Thousands of individual reports in Mosborough and the surrounding area have shown a remarkable number of inexplicable lights and shapes in the sky that many believe to be UFO’s or aliens.

South Yorkshire farmer Andrew Leeton, 51, states that he has seen these extra terrestrial space craft’s on numerous occasions and is no longer shocked or frightened. “The first time I saw one I was obviously dubious and scared, who wouldn’t be, but I’ve seen them too many times to count now, like orange saucers in the sky, they leave me alone and I leave them.”

With so many strange sightings in the city it does make you wonder whether Sheffield's bizarre sighting's really are a hive of paranormal activity or just a number of strange coincidences.

What do you think?
Have you seen anything strange and spooky in and around Mosborough? Do you believe in the paranormal? Email your opinions to opinions@mosboroughandhalfwaytelegraph.co.uk

Fact Box

Records of paranormal activity in Mosborough and other areas of Sheffield.

By Rebecca Savva