Express & Star

Star comment: We need to keep showing our locals the love

Today we continue our regular Love Your Local series, with a focus on the Old Castle in Bridgnorth.

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Landlord Bryn Masterman at The Old Castle, Bridgnorth

We are happy to support our pubs. The Love Your Local features are a way to give our pubs the oxygen of publicity but also to highlight the work they do as a focus for our communities.

The Old Castle has been around for around 400 years. Many of our pubs across the West Midlands have similar links to history and many are struggling to survive.

The cost of producing beer and the rising cost of raw materials for food, together with the rising cost of energy, has put enormous strain on the industry. Rising wages and competing leisure pursuits have also hampered demand, as people have turned to other activities and as society has continued to fragment.

The position for some pubs is already precarious and a number of our chains have been closing earlier on quiet week nights to save on costs. They can’t afford to keep the lights blazing if there’s nobody there to sup ale.

We can all do our bit by making an effort to pop into our local, not just to enjoy good food and drink, but also to experience a sense of community that is increasingly being lost.

The alternative is to see our pubs closing down. It’s a reality that few of us would wish to experience. We have only to imagine a community without its pubs to realise how much worse off we would be without them.

We do not need to pour money into the coffers of giant, far-distant pub owners – but we do need to support independents that help to knit together the fabric of our communities and bring about cohesion and engender goodwill.


Westminster Abbey is used to putting on big events. The Coronation will be one of the biggest in its history and – unlike previous coronations – it will be under the world’s gaze. Britain is good at putting on events like these. It did so at the Queen’s Jubilee and again for her funeral.

Big state events are a show of our patriotism but also a show to the world that we are a strong and stable democracy and that, whatever change comes, we are able to move forward in peace and for the good of our nation.

We are in more stable times than those experienced in recent years.

The Coronation is an opportunity to come together and show the world our best side.