Local news round-up: phone ban protest and Harry Potter myth-busting

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Column inches: local papers highlighted pubs this week for Halloween preparations and phone policies
Column inches: local papers highlighted pubs this week for Halloween preparations and phone policies

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Pubs that made headlines in local newspapers this week include a Bradford site facing backlash for a ban on electronics and an Exeter tavern with an ambiguous literary connection.

1. Respects paid to operator

Hundreds of people turned up to pay their respects to a city publican at his funeral, Gloucestershire Live​ reported.

Almost 200 people attended the funeral of landlord Martyn Penn this week (Wednesday 2 October).

The operator had run several pubs in the area, including the Friar Tucks in Quedgeley; the Pig; the Old Crown; the Dick Whittington; and the Station Hotel in Gloucester. 

The Pig won a CAMRA Pub of the Year award five years in a row while he was at the helm.

2. Phone protest

Regulars at a pub in Bradford are not happy about the site’s policy to ban their use of phones, The Telegraph and Argus​ newspaper revealed this week.

The newspaper spoke to several disgruntled punters who have joined forces to criticise the Shoulder of Mutton’s electronic devices ban.

The Samuel Smith-owned site is not alone in introducing a ban, with the brewery making headlines last year for a blanket phone ban in all of its pubs.

3. Potter myths

A celebrity connection can do a pub wonders for PR but sometimes the truth is less robust than it might appear, as Devon Live​ proved​ by myth-busting a story about Exeter’s Old Firehouse pub this week. 

While many in the city like to say that the pub was a source of inspiration for the Harry Potter book series, the newspaper reminded its readers there was little truth in this. 

Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted to dispel the connection last year and said she never went to the pub as a student at Exeter University.

4. Fundraising success 

A pub in Lancashire has helped its regulars raise an impressive £7,000 for charity, according to the Lancashire Telegraph​.

A group of pubgoers raised thousands of pounds for East Lancashire Hospice with most of their charity activity taking place at the Railway Pub, Huncoat.

Customers took part in a head shave and the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, supported by the pub staff.

5. Spooky season

One site in Newcastle is ahead of the game and has already been decked out in Halloween decor.

The Wheatsheaf in Benton revealed decorations and props, including pumpkins, hay bales and spooky figures this week.

Newspaper Chronicle Live went to visit the pub​, which is readying itself to host a killer queen monster ball and a kids Halloween party at the end of the month.

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