Winners of a Great British Pub Award 2020

Great British Pub Award winners - Keeping The Community Entertained category

What Award has been Won?

The Swan won the Keeping The Community Entertained category in the 2020 Great British Pub Awards on September, 24th. Through a community vote, our wide range of activities during the Covid lockdown were recognised. Our blend of pub, school and community both face-to-face and online is unique.

We now have the opportunity to submit an application for up to £10,000 to help fund further renovations of The Swan. As all know, this is an ongoing project and this could really help us. Thank you to Sky and Coca-Cola.

Additionally, Coca-Cola will fund up to a further £1,000 donation to a local charity or good cause that we support. We are waiting for details on what this actually means.

The Grand Announcement streamed live throughout The Swan

The event was streamed live with Stephen Mulhern taking us through a roller coaster of emotions. Our category was one of the very first which caught us slightly unaware. The video of that segment is accessible here, just click on the picture below to start the video. We acknowledge that is is from the GPBA and is actually owned by them.

Video sequence for The Swan

Apart from those who appeared in the video, we would also like to thank all the others who contributed either seen or unseen to the video. Your part was just as essential in getting this fantastic video and the result. Also thanks to Doug Seeburg, photgrapher extraordinaire!

Puting up the aircon unit Puting up the aircon unit
Cabinets in progress Puting up the aircon unit
The return of Big Pete the Builder Puting up the aircon unit

Celebrating in the Press

We are pleased to say that our success was picked up in both local and national press. It is quite a thing for Windsor and Berkshire as a whole, and a good news story when further covid measures had just been introduced. Here are just a few of the articles that have been produced.

Windsor & Eton Express

The Swan wins Great British Pub award.

By Amy Horsfield on Friday 2nd Ocotober, 2020.

Windsor & Eton Express

Saved pub wins Award for work during lockdown

By Francis Batt on Friday 2nd October, 2020.

BBC Radio Berkshire - celebrating the Great British Pub Award

BBC Radio Berkshire presented by Bridgitte Tetteh, interview with Anne Tebbatt

Presented by Bridgitte Tetteh on Saturday 26th September 2020.

Windsor & Eton Express

The Swan wins Great British Pub award

By Amy Horsfield on Friday 25th September, 2020.

BBC Radio Berkshire - cwe won!!!

BBC Radio Berkshire presented by Sarah Walker, celebrating last night's news

Presented by Sarah Walker on Friday 25th September 2020.

Windsor Observer

Clewer pub saved by the community wins major prize

By Francis Batt on Friday 25th September 2020.

The Express

Best pub in the UK: Is your local a winner? 15 top pubs named in awards

By Sophie Harris on Thursday 24th September, 2020.

Great British Pub Awards

2020 Winners

By the GBPA on Thursday 24th September, 2020.

When the Film Crew came to The Swan

A film crew came to The Swan on Monday 14th September. There aim was to interview a cross-section of people who had been involved in The Swan during lockdown. From these they would edit it down to a 3-minute segment that will be published online. And if we win, then it will be played on the night.

We have some photos of the morning on our filming for the GPBAs page.

Our Entry

The Swan Clewer Community Interest Company formed in 2018 to renovate a derelict Victorian coaching inn, whilst at the same time creating a community pub with a difference! We share our space with sixth form students of The Green Room – a local school giving young people who have struggled with mainstream education the chance to lead brilliant lives. We are a unique, fully inclusive community hub owned and run by a diverse group of investors, staff and volunteers.

After an encouraging first six months of trading, 2020 started full of hope; planning our first beer festival and first anniversary, but then we had to close our doors…. However, whilst the lights went dark in the pub, the buzz that we had created within the local community was far from quiet! With a very diverse customer base, we realised that in these strange times, our responsibility extended beyond the usual bar room chat. So, The Friends of The Swan group, who plan many of the pub’s events, decided to help combat the potential loneliness and isolation of lockdown. Some of our existing groups immediately moved online.

With people having more time to read our Monday night book club increased their membership and frequency of meetings. Our sewing group also started to meet via Zoom, planning and making bunting to decorate our courtyard post-lockdown.

Some puzzled faces
Renee and family (our oldest player)
On of our online events

In our first big online event, over 30 households registered via the online booking system we designed, to play bingo on Zoom. There were no prizes, but lucky winners secured a ticket on an “all-inclusive virtual cruise”.

Our Quiz is always a popular night, so we launched a Zoom version, introducing a very successful ‘guest round’, where a local charity, environmental group and others got a chance to share their message in a fun and interactive way.

Sunday teatimes saw us ‘Dancing Through the Decades’ with a local singing duo via a series of Facebook Live gigs.

Our YouTube channel introduced ‘Rachel Reads’ – where one of our volunteers recorded bedtime stories to help frazzled parents.

No fees were charged for our events; we just asked for a voluntary donation of the cost of your usual drink in the pub, if you had enjoyed yourself. Funds were shared between our kitchen refurbishment fund and our nominated local charity – raising over £500 for their work with families in crisis.

We kept in touch with the wider community via our weekly email updates that are regularly read by over 600 people. Supported by social media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; our website and local radio, these provide an update on what is happening at the pub, advertise our events and during lockdown, reassured everyone that we would be back! We found we had more to say than ever!

After over 30 online events across 12 weeks with between 10 and 50 attendees, aged from 9 to 98, plus a range of other communications and activities, we are proud to say, community spirit is alive and well.

The Friends of The Swan

Here are some of the team that were involved.