Village rallies around pub for charity funds

Regulars from the Village Inn in Longframlington on the West Highland Way walk.
Regulars from the Village Inn in Longframlington on the West Highland Way walk.

In a show of community spirit, a village, centred around its pub, has pulled together to raise more than £11,000 for charity.

The Village Inn, Longframlington, owned by Terry Maughan, with help from the patrons and villagers, chooses a charity each year to support.

This year, the fund-raising was for Macmillan Cancer Research and the pub recently handed over £11,270 that they had raised for the cause.

Gavin Christie, who helped organise many of the fund-raising efforts, explained that the superb total was the highest they had managed so far.

“We always try to beat what we raised before,” he said.

“The year before, we did a charity called the Reedham Trust, which helps orphans in the North East and we raised about £8,000 for them.

“The year before that was Help for Heroes and we raised about £6,000.

“I think it will be hard to go higher next year though.”

The 35-year-old landscape gardener organised one of the major events of the year, which saw a group of them take on the West Highland Way.

It is a long-distance footpath in Scotland, running for 96 miles from Milngavie, north of Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, with an element of hill walking.

The highest point on the route, known as the Devil’s Staircase, is 1,800 feet and the Longframlington lads completed the 150km trek in just four days.

Gavin said: “It would have been fun if you did it over a week or ten days but to do it over four days was pretty hard-going.”

In another impressive effort, another lad cycled the Coast-to-Coast route and completed the 192-mile route across the north in just two days.

And to complete the pub’s charitable triathlon, a group of girls from the village did a three-mile swim to boost the coffers still further.

But not all of the charitable events were quite as strenuous as these three.

The pub also hosted casino nights, a sponsored silence ‘for someone who talks a lot in the pub’, coffee mornings and a hair-dressing event.

The fund-raising efforts are now complete for this year and the pub plans a bit of a break before starting on a new charity after Christmas.

In August, The Village Inn was named as a finalist in two categories in The Great British Pub Awards 2012. Having been recognised as the Best Community Pub in Yorkshire, North East and Scotland, it then went up against five other venues from across the land in the national final.

As well as charitable giving, the pub plays its part within the community by offering free soup and a roll for senior citizens on several days in the winter, hosting a free Christmas party for children, and it has a number of sports teams.