A defibrillator is now available in Poulner near Ringwood thanks to the largesse of locals and the landlord of the London Tavern.
When the hostelry was broken into during lockdown a crowdfunding effort raised £1,500 so the pub could be made safe.
But thanks to QE Metalblast and Elite Fabrication, the repairs were carried out for nothing.
So Phil Hoyle, who has run the pub for three years, decided the money should be spent on the community – and he bought a defibrillator.
The life-saving device is now attached to the front of the pub in Linford Road where it is always available.
Phil said: “Everyone was so generous after we were broken into – and the repairs were caried out for nothing.
“It left us with around £1,500 so we thought a defibrillator would be a useful addition to the village.
“If there is an emergency locally then 999 operators know where the defibrillator is and have the access code.
“The lockdowns have brought the community closer together and we were pleased to play our part.
“Although we’ve bought the defibrillator, we hope it is never needed.”
Volunteer community first responder and pub regular Denis Hamm, said: “This is a fantastic asset for the community.
“They really do save lives – I’ve used them myself. In an emergency speed is crucial and the quicker a defibrillator can be brought to the patient the better the chances of survival.”
The London Tavern is a small pub that has changed since landlord Phil
took over in 2017 from a good old-fashioned traditional pub into thriving
community pub, attracting many new customers. It is situated on the
edge of the beautiful New Forest in the market town of Ringwood,
Hampshire, and is popular with locals and visitors.
Since taking over The London Tavern – known as the ‘Tav’ – Phil and his
partner Sarah have been keen to develop the live entertainment on offer,
which has proven extremely popular.
Cleverly, the couple have turned its small size into a major advantage by
creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere.
They understand the importance of quality, not just in the sourcing of
local, high quality produce, but also by recruiting, motivating and training
the right staff.
Making certain that his team have confidence in their product and are
friendly and helpful has been crucial in growing the number of patrons –
and retaining them.
Phil and Sarah say their favourite parts of running the London Tavern
have been seeing the locals become regulars, getting involved with
community events and seeing the business plan come to life with
support from the staff.
There are many more locals now who regularly attend the London
Tavern to socialise, bringing along their friends and families. Some of
these are new to the pub while others have been lured back. Groups of
ladies regularly visit because Sarah has created a female-friendly
The three pillars of great drink, superb food and excellent service are the
foundation upon which the recent success has been built.
Since gaining the privilege of running The London Tavern, we have
strived to transform it so there is an atmosphere and reputation that
attracts all the varieties of pub-goer; regulars, families, young people, old
people, drinkers, eaters, sportsmen and women, thespians, the lonely,
the extroverts, the introverts, the professionals, the tourists and every
passing bon viveur!
We engage with our regulars about our plans and events.
Our success in opening the pub up to a broader range of customers has
enabled us to support more parts of the community. We feel we are
making a difference to the community by either running pub-specific
events or being involved in community events.
It is important to be able to give something back to the area as it is the
community that has helped make The London Tavern the pub it is today
and kept it going since the 1850s.
Having a community-based business ensures everybody has a stake in
it and feels able to use it.
I am just a guardian of the London Tavern and it’s my responsibility to
manage the pub to preserve something precious for future generations.
How would the local community describe your pub in 10 words?
Food. Drink. Music. Laughter. Service. Atmosphere. Quiz. Darts.
Singers. Bands. Tav.
I know there are 11 words, but it is because we always do that little bit
What extra services does the pub provide for the community
outside of food and drink?
The London Tavern hosts a number of social groups that meet regularly,
the foremost of these being The Ringwood Round Table (Phil has been
elected as Chairman).
Among the others are Scout leader meetings, ‘mums that do lunch’ and
Thursday night is Quiz Night; quizzers have been turning up at the
Tavern for decades to test their knowledge. We have improved this
with the introduction of a meal deal including the entry fee.
The London Tavern Darts Team is probably the most popular team
in the league – not due to our ability or skill but due to our
hospitality. Due to our hosting skills we were asked to hold the
Ringwood Pub Darts League Pairs Competition.
We run a successful pub golf society with regular events held at
local courses, competing against other pub societies. Each event
raises money for local good causes.
Ringwood Brewery British Pedal Car Grand Prix – The London
Tavern sponsors one of the 42 teams. The race was established in
1987 and the event raises money for charity. The pedal car
committee decides where the money goes – usually to two or three
Although having had a successful rugby career at New Milton
RFC, I took one for the community by being a sponsor of
Ringwood and Ellingham RFC – our local rivals. I have been made
a Vice President of Ringwood & Ellingham RFC, but still wear my
New Milton socks.
In September you will witness one of Ringwood’s biggest events,
The Carnival. Since we took over at the pub we have entered the
carnival, sharing our silliness with the crowds. The proceeds of this
event support good causes in the local community.