For older people pubs were at the centre of the community during their childhood and working life. When Maggie Harrison, our Manager at Collingwood Court asked residents what they wanted to do with a lounge that was rarely used the answer was unanimous – a pub.
Maggie remembers with pride how her team, the residents and their relatives rallied to the challenge of turning an uninspiring lounge at the end of a corridor into a pub that would not have looked out of place in the 1940s or 50s.
“Everyone rallied around to find vintage knick-knacks, optics, a beer hand-pump and old photographs of the original Collingwood Arms and other old pubs. Our former maintenance man, Ian Davidson, did a wonderful job. He installed an old bar, an old-fashioned fireplace and he found a paint that looked just as we remember nicotine stained white paint looking. He then took a great deal of time and effort making it looked distressed as real pub paint work does.”
The results have been as impressive as the pub itself. The formerly redundant lounge is now a hive of activity. Residents enjoy playing traditional pub games during their visits and darts, played with a board and darts donated by a former residents family is very popular and the resident’s trophies give the bar an authentic feel.
Maggie said: “Residents put on their hats and coats as if they are going out when they come to the pub and they feel that they are actually out in a pub.
“Many of our residents have lived in the area all their lives. I was delighted when one of our gentlemen declared that he was going to make the Collingwood Arms his local as he preferred it to the nearby Spring Gardens pub which had been his regular pub for many years.”