Pubs experience trade drop after St Jude storm tears across UK

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pub, Wind

The Castle in Donnington, West Berkshire, narrowly escaped being hit by a falling tree
The Castle in Donnington, West Berkshire, narrowly escaped being hit by a falling tree
Pubs across southern UK experienced a drop in trade after the worst storm in five years battered parts of the country.

Tinar Waads, manager at the Waterguard in Cardiff Bay, said no customers visited the pub on Sunday evening due to the adverse weather and she expected trade to be down by £800 by closing time today.

Gale force winds

Tracy Crisp, who runs the West Bay Hotel in West Bay, Dorset, also said that trade was “very quiet” on Sunday evening and the ‘W’ on the pub’s sign had blown away during the gale force winds, which reached 99mph in parts of Britain.

“We lost part of our sign and trade was very quiet last night but there has been no flooding on the West Bay and we didn’t get it as bad as some other parts of the UK,” she told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​.

The Castle in Donnington, West Berkshire, narrowly escaped being hit by a falling tree, while the sign of the White Hart in Northolt, a Fuller's pub, fell and landed on a car windscreen.

Mike Clist, tenanted director at Fuller’s, said: "With the biggest storm across Southern England for many years, some damage to pubs was inevitable. We will be addressing any urgent repairs immediately, and liaising with our insurers where required.

"However, while it’s very early and we are still assessing the situation, the initial indications are that the vast majority of Fuller’s pubs have come through unscathed." 

Quiet trade

Suzy Roche, landlady of the Smugglers Inn in Milford on Sea, Hampshire said despite fears that the plastic awning over the pub’s smoking shelter would blow away, it held its place but trade has been quiet.

"It’s fairly quiet – it’s still a bit blustery and rainy. But it’s hard to judge to what extent our trade has been affected by the storm itself,” she said.

However, Boi De-Buna, assistant manager at the Fortune of War on Brighton seafront, said trade was busier than usual on Sunday night due to locals heading to the pub in order to witness the storm.

The storm, named St Jude, swept across the UK in the early hours of this morning, travelling through the south-west, south, south-east, the Midlands, and the east of England. Fallen trees have blocked roads and railway tracks and thousands of homes have been without power.


Ossie Gray, director of the White Horse in Hascombe, Surrey, said his pub still has no power, after it went down at 6:30am on Monday. It means the pub's cellar chiller, ice machine, fridges, computers, card machines and EPos systems are all out of action and he is not able to supply hot food or cold drinks.

Gray closed the pub at 8pm on Sunday, while just one customer was in the venue, and on Monday evening after serving just 15 for lunch. However, he remained in high spirits and said the pub would remain open today (Tuesday).

"I posted 'Warm beer and cold food only' as a joke on our facebook page yesterday, but we will be open today as we are at the heart of our small community and the fires will be burning and the welcome a warm one!," he told the Publican's Morning Advertiser​.

Has your pub been affected by the storm? Please send any comments and pictures to Ellie Bothwell

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