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Pub owner transforms beer garden into hockey pitch

PUBLISHED: 13:19 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:19 02 July 2020

Philip Taylor, landlord, and his partner, Lynda Duckworth, bully-off in their car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at the Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Philip Taylor, landlord, and his partner, Lynda Duckworth, bully-off in their car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at the Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A hockey-mad landlord has transformed his pub’s carpark into a hockey pitch, fit with astroturf, a goal, and sticks to enforce two metres distance.

Philip Taylor, landlord, and his partner, Lynda Duckworth, in their car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at the Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPhilip Taylor, landlord, and his partner, Lynda Duckworth, in their car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at the Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Phil Taylor, who runs the King’s Head in Loddon, has transformed his pub in order to prepare for re-opening on Saturday, July 4.

Initially with limited outdoor space, the plucky landlord looked to renovating the pub car park to be able to welcome more customers to the popular sports bar.

“We support the two local hockey teams, and they come in here after all of their games, so I thought it would be a novel idea to get a little goal and use hockey sticks to keep social distance,” Mr Taylor said.

“The sticks are down and the benches are three sticks apart to keep distance, and it seems to have had loads of interest.”

The Kings Head car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Kings Head car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden, complete with goal, at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

While the goals won’t actually be used for playing hockey, and are just to provide a nice, green outdoor space for mroe customers to visit the pub, they fit in with a number of changes being made at the sports pub ahead of reopening.

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Mr Taylor said he had spent thousands renovating the outdoor areas of the pub, which includes the purchase of a £6,000 65-inch televison and improvements to the children’s play area.

“We’re primarily a sports bar, we have four indoor TVs with a big screen, and we show all the sports. The outdoor screen hasn’t arrived yet but we want to keep that up,” Mr Taylor explained.

The Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Kings Head at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Other changes made through lockdown include new screens at the bar, and a sanitation spot

The pub will kick things off again on Saturday, July 4, opening an hour earlier than usual at 10am to welcome back customers ahead of the Norwich City and Brighton football match.

Mr Taylor said: “I want people to know they shouldn’t be afraid to come out. We are ready and safe. Be cautious and distance, but come along.”

He added the pub has lost £30,000 through lockdown, after being made to pay full rent by the owners of the property.

Local resident Penny Lain-Rogers paints an animal mural on the storage container at the Kings Head car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLocal resident Penny Lain-Rogers paints an animal mural on the storage container at the Kings Head car park converted into a hockey pitch beer garden at Loddon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I’ve done all of these investments on the pub to encourage people to come back, so I really hope they support us.


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