Went to the Jolly Brewer in Lincoln on Saturday. Landlady Emma Chapman (left), a supporter of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, dedicated day two of the pub's annual music festival to "all the smokers forced to stand outside as a result of the smoking ban". I was joined by Dan Donovan who took these photographs and more. Click HERE.
The Jolly Brewer has an impressive outdoor area - tables, large canopy, substantial stage, excellent sound system. True, it was a bit cold (in August!) but inside and out the pub has a warm heart (and a good selection of beer and cider - I was particularly drawn to a cider called Thatchers). Emma told me that 60-70 per cent of her customers are regulars and if I lived in Lincoln I'd be one of them.
Thanks too to singer songwriter Bob Cairns (in the woolly hat, below). It was he who compered Saturday's event which was billed as "Bob's Smokin' Gig" and he maintained the theme by puffing all night on a succession of fags!
Below: Smokin' Bob and, below him, Markus Coulson of The Treehouse
Credit and thanks to Emma Chapman for associating her annual music festival - an event now in its fourth or fifth year - with the campaign to amend the smoking ban.
Emma is one of several hundred publicans who have signed up to the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign but, contrary to some of the comments below, no-one should expect any publican to deliberately break the law. Businesses and jobs are at stake (sometimes more, as Nick Hogan will testify) and how smoker-friendly licensees choose to campaign against the smoking ban is a matter for them. What matters is that they have our support.
I welcome a robust debate on this issue but I will not have this blog used as a vehicle to attack friends of Forest and the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign without very good reason. Emma Chapman has stood up to be counted - not once, not twice, but several times. Her efforts should be applauded, not belittled by armchair critics.