Pub boss who helped those in need set to reopen city venues
A PUB boss who went out of her way to help the vulnerable at the start of the pandemic is set to welcome back customers to her reopened city venues this week.
Dianne Irving, who runs the award-winning Crown and the popular city centre Howard Arms – both in Carlisle – received national acclaim when she delivered meals to the vulnerable across the city at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, having put a full range of safety measures in place, former primary school headteacher Dianne is set to reopen the doors of her pub businesses from Saturday, July 4, and is looking forward to welcoming back customers.
Dianne said: “Our pubs are known for being at the heart of our community and so many customers have told us how much they have missed them during lockdown.
“We’ve had so many supportive messages from customers over the last three months and we are now really looking forward to welcoming them back.”
Dianne and her team have put a range of measures in place to ensure that both The Crown and Howard Arms are safe environments for customers and staff, including:
*pre booking systems to ensure numbers of people arriving at the venues are staggered and total numbers of customers in the pubs are controlled at any one time
*one-way systems through the venues to ensure people won’t cross over on entry or on exit
*tables moved to ensure social distancing
*all staff completed online COVID-19 training
*risk assessments carried out and sent to the Environmental Health Office
Dianne said: “We have put every measure in place to ensure that those customers who wish to return from this Saturday are able to do so safely and responsibly.
“We will be making sure the rules are adhered to at all times and hope that gives confidence to all our customers that they can return safely when they feel ready to do so.
“It will be a different environment, but I am sure many will welcome being able to return in this responsible manner and start getting back to enjoying that sense of community again which so many say that they have missed so much.”
The Crown was this year shortlisted in two of Greene King brewery’s national awards as Community Pub of the Year and also Entertainment Pub of The Year.
Dianne also won Best Turnaround Pub of The Year for The Crown in the Great British Pub Awards in 2018.
Dianne also hopes to reopen the recently acquired and refurbished Milbourne Arms in the Shaddongate area of Carlisle in the near future.
Before setting up her business, Dianne was formerly head teacher at Penruddock Primary School at Penrith and Yewdale Primary School, Carlisle. She previously taught at Orgill Infants, Egremont; St Mary’s, Kells, Whitehaven; All Saints, Cockermouth; and Moor Row, Whitehaven.