So I found myself at a bit of a loose end this past week as, for the first time since becoming mayor, I didn’t have any mayoral engagements to attend.
Do not get me wrong, it was not going to be a completely empty diary as I still had a couple of meetings booked, however I did have quite a bit of extra time for a change and filled it well with preparations for the coming festive season, events I am organising and supporting at a couple of our local facilities.
Although not much of a pub goer these days I did spend much of my past in them – not propped up against the bar but as a karaoke host and doing the odd shift behind the bar – so know how much hard work publicans put in to making sure they are warm and welcoming.
Having discovered The New Inn public house was in the final ten of the Herald and Gazette’s Pub of the Year 2017 competition I decided instantly I wanted to meet up with the publicans and find out more.
For the past four years James and Becky Crossley have been running The New Inn in Norfolk Road having previously run different pubs across the area.
In talking to them both it was great to hear how they see The New Inn as more than just a pub – it’s a community and they want to be part of the further community of Littlehampton.
In one year they raised £24,000 for charities including Cancer United and Enable Me, and more recently have raised £600 for River Beach School.
When I asked why they should win they said how The New Inn is a proper traditional no airs and graces public house – it’s loved by its regulars and welcomes new people in.
They do not know who has nominated them but are pleased to be in the final ten, which has been narrowed down from a list of around a hundred.
They have been in the final ten before but have not yet won and I for one am hoping this is their year.
There have been forms in the previous two editions of the Gazette and it would be great to see the town support our only pub in the final and help it secure the winning place – you can even drop completed forms into The New Inn and they will send them off for you.
I decided on Friday evening to arrange with friends to go to see a movie at the Windmill Cinema, as you know this is one of my favourite places to be whether it is for a film or a live show.
Since Kevin and Marilu of the Windmill Cinema Ltd have taken on the running it seems to be going from strength to strength – I can remember a time when you would check what was on at the Windmill and it was more than likely already released on DVD, so to have a film showing the day it was released to cinemas shows just how far they have come.
For those of you who have not ventured to the Windmill Cinema yet, I find the seating to be more comfortable than most cinemas and the sound and picture quality equal to any other cinema.
It is helped by a group of volunteers from the local community who are always very welcoming, so if you’re thinking about going to see a film why not support our local cinema and check what’s on there first.
If you would like me to attend your event please send your requests in as soon as you are able to the mayor’s office on 01903 732063.
I look forward to hearing from you.