MP pops out for a pint

Joseph Bulmer

North Devon MP Nick Harvey drops into the pub at West Anstey.

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey popped into the Jubilee Inn at West Anstey for a pint as part of a bid to highlight the importance of local pubs.

The initiative is being promoted by the Parliamentary All Party Beer Group to which Mr Harvey belongs and his hosts for the day were landlord and landlady Robert and Christine Pennells.

“This couple have become stalwarts of the local community over the past decade and it was good to see them and some of their regulars in action,” said Mr Harvey, who presented them with a Beer Group certificate.

“Local pubs such as theirs remain the hub of rural communities and it was useful to hear about their concerns for the future of the industry.

“I was also impressed by the cross section of regulars who turned out to support them. They clearly enjoy a lot of goodwill.”

Robert added: “I’ve been in this business for 35 years and seen many changes, so it’s nice to have our hard work recognised. “Times are difficult for publicans and it’s my regulars who have kept us going without a doubt.”

After 11 years of running The Jubilee the couple are planning for their retirement on the south coast and the pub is currently on the market, but Christine admitted they were in no rush to leave as they loved the pub and their community.