The success of Accrington Stanley over the years has been down in a large measure to team spirit – and that’s the case too at the pub next door The Crown.
Landlord and landlady Will and Emma Gilmartin have entered the East Lancashire Hospice’s 2018 for the second year running and they know how much they raise will depend on their staff of eight and their army of customers. And this year they have joined forces with local building company A S Gaynor and Son who are father-and-son team Shaun and Darren Gaynor and fellow director James Hyslop.
Emma said: “Last year was fantastic. Everyone entered into the spirit of the challenge and we all pulled together.” The Crown, in Whalley Road, Accrington, raised £1,500 last year but are aiming to increase that amount by a couple of thousand this summer.
The Gilmartins’ connection with the hospice came about because their daughter Chloe works there in complimentary therapy. Also Will recovered from cancer himself 10 years ago so when they decided to support a charity the hospice was top of the list. And the Gaynors have also had personal experience of the hospice.
Shaun said: “Both my mum Margaret and sister Janet received care that was second to none before they passed away in the hospice.” And Shaun, 58, who has been self-employed in the building trade since 1981, will be pushing the pain barrier to help raise funds. He has volunteered for a full body wax!
Darren said: “Emma and Chloe asked if the Polar Bear, as we know him, would be up for it. We will be asking people to buy strips they can rip off my dad!” Already the pub has raised a few hundred pounds through a scratch card.
For the first six years at the pub Will and Emma worked as managers as the lease for the pub was held by Accrington Stanley. Emma said: “When the new owner took over Stanley he decided to give up the lease so me and Will took over as tenants. We already had a big customer base and over the last 18 months we have gone from strength to strength. Every night is busy and we sell lots of food.”
All of the bar staff have been tasked to come up with an idea for fundraising. Suggestions so far include a sponsored bungee jump and a bingo night.
Last year barmaid Jennifer Pratt staged a sponsored silence at the pub from midday to midnight and raised £700. One customer tried to break the silence by dropping a spider on her lap but Jennifer remained silent despite her terror!
The Crown has a quiz on a Monday, darts and dominoes on Tuesday, special themed food on Wednesdays, poker nights on Thursday and a live act on Friday. It also caters for christenings, funerals and other family and group events.