Former soldier treks more than five miles through freezing conditions to open pub

Landlord Andrew Freeland, who walked more than five miles to open The Swan pub in Loddon. Picture: C

Landlord Andrew Freeland, who walked more than five miles to open The Swan pub in Loddon. Picture: Courtesy of Andrew Freeland - Credit: Archant

A soldier-turned-landlord embarked on a valiant mission to walk along snow-laden roads and open his pub for a market town community.

Andrew Freeland was driving at a snail’s pace with his wife along the A146 yesterday, when it became apparent they could go no further due to the widespread ice and snowdrifts wreaking havoc further ahead.

But Mr Freeland, hell-bent on opening The Swan in Loddon for hard-working locals, was not about to be deterred by the small matter of adverse weather.

With no alternative routes available, his wife dropped him off on the side of the road and the 43-year-old, who served in the Coldstream Guards, began a dogged trek of more than five miles through the bitterly cold conditions.

“I knew none of my staff members were going to make it to the pub and it was very important to me that it was opened,” said Mr Freeland.

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“The drifting snow was horrendous, so my wife dropped me off near Stockton and I started walking up the A146. In comparison to what I’ve done in the past, the walk wasn’t that complicated!”

“Having an open pub is key during bad weather; many people were not at work yesterday and it’s somewhere for the community to gather.”

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Having eventually navigated his way to The Swan, Mr Freeland’s brave efforts paid off as dozens of people visited the pub throughout the afternoon to escape the wrath of the Beast from the East.

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