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Prince Charles spends St Patrick’s Day in a pub

Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were not the only royals to get into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day; The Prince of Wales visited Wadworth Brewery in Devizes, Wiltshire.

The Wadworth Brewery Company is family-owned, operating more than 200 pubs in SW England. The company was founded by Henry Alfred Wadworth in 1875. The company brews “real ale.”

“Pub is the Hub” was established by the Prince of Wales in 2001 and is funded by Wadworth Brewery. According to the Helensburgh Advertiser, the goal for this campaign is to “promote pubs as hubs of community life.”

The organisation assists rural pubs and licensees in broadening the range of services they provide to enhance community facilities. The country, rural way of life faces challenges in today’s society. To maintain the village pub which has been integral to rural English life for centuries, pubs provide other services that might not necessarily be easily found in these areas. Those pubs who have licensees provide services like a shop and post office in their pubs.

According to the organisation’s website, its vision is to match “rural community needs and services to make it happen. Our vision is about matching the community’s priorities to new services which can be provided by great licensees in their pubs. It is about bringing interested groups and organisations together, often for the first time, to meet common goals and help local initiatives take place.

“Pub is the Hub acts as a guide – an independent sounding board, a source of advice, with a wealth of experience and local knowledge to support rural pubs and communities to reach common goals.

“We also advise communities considering collective ownership partnerships and give them access to the advice they may need to save or maintain their local services also involving the pub.

“As well as generating awareness and mobilising communities, we seek to influence regional (and national) policy and practice in rural services and related public sectors. We respond to particular current local and national needs, developing different, flexible and innovative business approaches to supporting the appropriate community services within the pub by a good licensee.”

While at the brewery, the Prince poured a pint at the pub and viewed a signed painting shop. The Wadworth Brewery works in close collaboration with the pub as part of the Hub initiative.

The Wadworth Brewery maintains many of the characteristics from when it was first founded. Mainly using shire horses to deliver ale throughout Devizes every day. Prince Charles met shire horses Monty, Max and Archie, who deliver beer to pubs in Devizes each day and observed their stables. His Royal Highness also signed a plaque that features shire horses specially painted for his visit. The brewery has a sign painter who paints and maintains all the traditional hand-painted signs for the pub; they created the plaque which was signed by the Prince.

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