St Agnes pub sets out its stall

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A pub in St Agnes in South West Cornwall has set up a monthly country market in the pub car park with the help of Pub is The Hub.

The landlord and landlady of the Peterville Inn at St Agnes, David and Ann Marie Napthine, came up with the idea to create a regular community event that local people and visitors would enjoy and one that showcases local suppliers and artistic talent. The couple took over the Punch tenancy in February this year and have been looking at different ways that they could diversify their business to improve local services.

They heard about the work of Pub is The Hub from their Punch business manager, Lisa Smart and have been working with the advisor for the South West, Reg Clarke, to put the scheme together.

Peterville was known historically as the area for markets and fairs and the Napthines had the foresight to include the option to offer country markets in the car park under their insurance policy before they had even moved in.

Each country market will take place on the last Saturday of each month from 10am to 3pm with up to twenty-three traders registered to attend at any time. Pub is The Hub has provided a grant from its Community Services Fund of £600 to support the cost of the stall tables and a marquee. The Napthines offer the stalls free of charges to the retailers and give them free hot drinks.

Ann Marie said: “We started at the end of May with a Victorian-themed market to attract some attention and it went down extremely well. Our takings easily doubled that day. We have a wide range of traders from clothes, plants, jewellery, wood turning, cakes and food. There’s a barbecue and some live entertainment at each one too.

“The Pub is The Hub initiative fits very closely with our plans for the pub. We’re minding the pub for the community; it’s there for their use and enjoyment and we want it to become a place where people know that they will be welcomed, looked after and offered activities and events which fit their need. We are very grateful that we were able to benefit from funding from Pub is The Hub and now have a waiting list of people wanting to be involved with the market.”

Ann Marie is Irish and lived in a small village very similar to St. Agnes. She added: “There, the local pub sold very good Guinness but that was not the only reason that customers used it. It was known as The Butcher’s because that’s what it used to be but it was also the local shop; people could arrange for parcels to be delivered there; they could have a cup of coffee or tea whilst waiting for the bus to town or just pop in for a bit of company.”