In its long history of serving the people of Hambledon, the Merry Harriers would not have witnessed anything quite like it.
On Friday evening, as news filtered through of the latest Government measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the closure of all pubs, clubs and restaurants, customers were told by manager Jake Andreou that the pub would call “time” at 8pm.
Pictured above: Lights about to go out at village pub on Friday evening.
Quite a number of village locals were at the bar – social distancing, of course – and the only cheer came when Jake said he was buying everyone a drink in thanks for local loyalty and in the hope that all would be back together soon.
Otherwise the mood was sombre, with many remarking that the 16th Century inn had always been there for the local community, in good times and bad, and who could have imagined that it would be ordered to shut, along with all other gathering places across the UK, because of a virus.
Regulars took photos as Jake called “time” and all left wondering when they would next enter the doors of the Harriers.
Pictured above: Jake calls “time”, 8pm Friday March 20th, 2020 – an historic moment for the 16th Century Merry Harriers
In the meantime Jake, head chef David Totterdell and sous chef Nick Ash, will continue to offer pub-cooked take-away food, delivered free to those self-isolating and to be collected from the pub for those who are not. Details and the menu appear on an earlier news item on this website. Contact the pub on 01428 682883.