It is always a busy time here at the Red Lion, so please do look through the archives to see what has happened month by month since we acquired the Red Lion.
By The MA, 16-Mar-2017
Pioneering food couple Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin have used their vast experience in the foodservice sector to build their growing fleet of seven food-led pubs. Read More
Cheshire Cat Pub and Bars, has been named as ‘Pub Group of the Year 2016/17’ by the prestigious Good Pub Guide. The award follows a string of successes for the company over the year including being chosen as the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the Publican Awards in London.
The Good Pub Guide is the number one selling guide book for pubs in the UK. This award is given from the guide to pub groups that are first rate in every way and run by people who really care about both their pubs and their customers. The 2017 Good Pub Guide will feature over 5,000 pubs demonstrating just how stiff the competition is.
Owner Tim Bird comments: “This is a true accolade and we are very, very proud indeed. This award will mean the world to our entire team and our customers, as it recognises our teams huge efforts in helping us run wonderfully individual pubs well. It also recognises our collective efforts in rescuing pubs that were previously closed down or lost causes. Our pubs and Inns now shine brightly for our many loyal customers to enjoy for many years to come”.
The pub group was chosen by Fiona Stapeley, editor of the Good Pub Guide, and were marked on a range of criteria from the quality of service to product range, aesthetic design and the pub’s hospitality.
“The pubs have a great deal of individuality both in their décor, their choice of drinks, their food and their atmosphere,” says Fiona. “These pubs have consistently good feedback from all our readers. As I edit the book it becomes obvious which group of pubs really stand out head and shoulders above the others. Of course competition is stiff, but this year it was a straight-forward choice for me.”
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars is owned and operated by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, who have a collection of award winning pubs across Cheshire, Staffordshire and Dorset. Earlier this year the group were voted the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London. Their Church Inn won the coveted award of ‘UK’s Best Pub’ this summer, as well as their Fitzherbert Arms in Staffordshire scooping Sawday’s ‘Best Newcomer’.
As the rain fell and the wind blew on Sunday morning we thought maybe Rum Fest might be a damp squib!
We persevered setting up the outside Rum Bar, barbecue, and gazebo for our Reggae band the MadHatters and by our 2pm start time the wind was dropping, the rain was stopping and the reggae and rum fest kicked off.
We couldn’t have expected such a brilliant turnout. Making Rum Fest one of the biggest Sunday’s in Red Lion history!
It was of course the Red Lions 165th birthday too so a great reason for a celebration..
Sarah our Red Lion Deputy did a wonderful job setting up the Rum Fest bar and with Steve on the BBQ and the MadHatters on song it turned out to be a great day!
We look forward to seeing you all again next August Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday 2017.
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars, who own and operate The Cholmondeley Arms on the Cholmondeley estate, The Bulls Head and Church Inn in Mobberley, the Three Greyhounds Inn in Allostock, the Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton and the Red Lion in Weymouth, Dorset, has been voted the company with the Best Drinks Act in the UK at the prestigious Publican Awards ceremony in London.
Cheshire Cats Pubs & Bars beat a number of national chains to the title, drawing high praise from the judges for supporting cask ales from local brewers. The company was also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ title in the Best Food Offer category.
Each pub within the collection specializes in a particular drink with The Cholmondeley Arms boasting more than 300 gins, the Red Lion offering more than 80 rums and the Fitzherbert Arms offering over 30 Ports by the bottle. Whiel the Bulls Head, Three Greyhounds Inn and the Church have enviable collections of Whisky, Brandy and wine respectfully.
Tim Bird, owner of the unique collection of village pubs and country inns, comments: “These awards are equivalent to the drinks industry’s ‘Oscars’ and it is fantastic that our pubs and our teams has been recognized in this way. The award recognises the hard work that the team puts in and how we work with local breweries, suppliers and food producers to bring a memorable and unique experience to our customers everyday.”
Ed Bebbington, of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, comments: “This is a company that puts a lot of time and thought into getting its drink offer right, from its superb focus on local, great beers, through to an impressive offer of wines and spirits.”
Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, owners of Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars, have already won numerous awards for restoring pubs of great heritage and character and are now focused on the Roebuck Inn, also in Mobberley which after three years of closure is set to open in April.
For further information on Cheshire Cat Pubs and its collection of pubs, please visit www.cheshirecatpubsandbars.co.uk.
LIFEBOAT DAY 2016 AT THE RED LION
We raised more than £600 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) through the sale of our Lifeboat Bitter. The cheque was presented to the RNLI on Tuesday 6th December during a special evening dedicated to the Weymouth Crew.
The money was raised through the sales of our Lifeboat Bitter. 6000 pints were sold over the last year and 10p from every pint was donated to the charity. To mark the occasion members of the Weymouth Crew also competed in a ‘Lifeboat Bake Off’ style competition that Red Lion owners, Brian, Tim and Mary, judged.
Tim Bird, co-owner of the Red Lion commented; “We think it’s crucial to support such a local and worthy cause year in, year out. It’s always thrilling when we raise more money than the previous year and couldn’t think of a better cause for the proceeds to be donated to. We always encourage our customers to enjoy a pint of Lifeboat Bitter when they visit the Red Lion, to show their support to the brave volunteers.”
John Harvey, lifeboat operations manager, comments: “Our volunteers designate their time to the local community’s safety at sea and are thrilled to have annual support from such a great local pub. What better way is there to raise money than through a great pint of bitter? All of our volunteers are grateful for every penny raised, as it really does save lives.”
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. The institution is on call 24-hours a day and provides lifeboat search and rescue services around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service. The RNLI was established in 1824 and since then has saved more than 140,000 lives at sea.
Here are the pictures of the Weymouth Lifeboat Crew’s great Christmas Bake Off!!!
The Cheque Presentation and the winning baker!!
Lifeboat Day 2015 at the Red Lion
For the fourth year (how time flies) Lifeboat day was celebrated at the Red Lion as members of the Weymouth Life Boat crew returned one year later for a drink and some ‘Seafood boards’.
The occasion was the annual presentation of the cheque from Brian at the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI this year for £570 all from each pint of lifeboat bitter sold which amounts to 5700 pints of Lifeboat bitter being sold.
Sadly Andy the Coxswain was away so other crew members picked up the cheque on behalf of the Weymouth RNLI and were very grateful for the continuing close links between the Red Lion and the Weymouth RNLI.
Every November we celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these great volunteers.
Cheers to the Weymouth RNLI
Lifeboat Day 2014 at the Red Lion
For the third year Lifeboat day was celebrated at the Red Lion as members of the Weymouth Life Boat crew came for a drink (for some it may have been a couple!) and some nibbles.
The occasion was the annual presentation of the cheque from the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI for a staggering £530 all from ten pence pieces collected for each pint of lifeboat bitter sold.
While some of you may think this is not a huge amount it is 5300 pints of Lifeboat bitter and when you think of the popularity of beers such as Doom Bar and Jurassic here at the Red Lion this truly is a good ‘score’ for the lifeboat and Lifeboat Bitter too!
It was also an occasion when owner Tim personally donated £100 on behalf of his late Aunt, Moyra Parker, who passed away earlier this year and asked that donations be made to the RNLI. So Tim waited for ‘Lifeboat day’ at the Red Lion to make his donation in Moyra’s memory.
As always Andy the Coxswain picked up the cheque (and Tim’s £100 in cash) on behalf of the Weymouth Crew and was very grateful for the close links between the Red Lion and the Weymouth RNLI. A photo is framed each year and hung in the pub to mark ‘Life Boat’ Day and this year is no different.
Every November we celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these great volunteers.
Owner Tim made a short speech thanking the crew as always for supporting the pub and most importantly for the work they do.
Commemorative Picture takes pride of Place!!
The first signed photograph from the Weymouth Lifeboat Crew was framed and hung from the rum barrel wall in the pub. Each year a photo will be signed by the crew, framed and hung in the Red Lion to commemorate the ‘Red Lion Life Boat Day’ which is held every November in honour of the brave crew and the pubs attachment to the Weymouth Lifeboat historically!!
It is a tradition to present the money raised over the year by the sales of our very own lifeboat bitter!! So if you want to help the RNLI buy a pint when you are in and have a look at the many pictures around the pub.
There is a lot of loyalty and history between the Red Lion Pub and the Weymouth lifeboat and the brave lifeboat men who serve on her. When you visit the pub you will see old pictures of the crews and the life boats that have served over the years. As the proprietors of the Red Lion we are very proud of the history and know that this is an important pub to lifeboat crews past and present….it is their pub and it carries a lot of their famous history. In honour of this connection Lifeboat Ale has been brewed and put on the bar for everyone to enjoy. For every pint we sell 10p will go to the R.N.L.I and we will present the ‘cheque’ annually on what will be known as ‘Red Lion Lifeboat day’!!
More details will follow on what we hope will become a legendary day of recognition for the lifesaving efforts of our crew.
Lifeboat bitter is a light hoppy beer, easy to drink and not too strong…so ‘sea legs’ aren’t necessary!!! Come in and enjoy a pint and support the R.N.L.I!!!
Weymouth Lifeboat for all to see.
If you turn left out of the Red Lion and head towards the harbour then go right and follow the pathway with the harbour on your left and you will arrive at the Lifeboat mooring. We can’t always guarantee it will be there as it may well be out at sea saving someone!!
The Weymouth Yacht Club is situated close by too and there is an RNLI gift shop which has great gifts
for all the family which all help raise money for the lifeboat.
The views down the harbour are lovely and the lifeboat sits quite majestically as other boats pass by on their way in or out of this natural harbour.
Come and see it for yourselves and then return to the Red Lion for a pint of cask ale and some crispy Whitebait.
RNLI day at the Red Lion!!
It will come to be known as ‘Lifeboat day’ here at the Red Lion!!! 20 or so members of the Weymouth Life Boat came to the Red Lion for a drink (for some it may have been a couple!) and some nibbles. The occasion was the
presentation of a cheque from the Red Lion to the Weymouth RNLI for £400.00. While some of you may think this is not a huge amount it was purely the money raised from the sale of our house beer ‘Life Boat Bitter’ where 10p a
pint is collected for the RNLI.
The readers good at maths will realise since February 2012 when we opened our newly restored pub we have sold 4000 pints and when you think of the popularity of beers such as Doom Bar and Jurassic here at the Red Lion this truly is a good ‘score’ for the lifeboat and Lifeboat Bitter too.
Andy the Coxswain picked up the cheque on behalf of the crew and this for us, here at the Red Lion, marked the close link between the pub and the lifeboat crew here in Weymouth. A photo will be framed each year and hung in
the pub to mark ‘Life Boat’ Day at the Red Lion. Every November we will celebrate with the crew and ensure more and more pints of Life Boat bitter are sold to help these volunteers.
Landlord Brian was on hand to present the cheque after owner Tim made a short speech thanking the crew for supporting the pub and most importantly for the work they do. So next year come down to the Red Lion and applaud the crew and share a few anecdotes and a rum or two.
We are proud to announce that the Red Lion here in Weymouth has been included in three of the leading pub guides in 2015. Brian and the team have worked very hard since we took on the Red Lion five years ago to establish the pub as a pub to enjoy all year round. The Red Lion has been invested in twice since 2009 the latter restoration was just prior to the 2012 Olympic sailing events. We appreciate the support of our customers throughout the year such as the life boat crew who use the pub along with many local people and of course all the visitors to Weymouth who have helped us create a little institution. From Brian and our hard working team and our summer band ‘Replay’. Thank you!!
The three guides are the Good Pub Guide, The Sawdays Guide and the AA Pub Guide…..we are still working on the Good Beer guide hoping they will recognise our commitment to real ale.
It was a lovely day weather wise and lots of folk turned up to remember the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings that took place on 6th June 1944. Fancy dress was worn and old wartime songs were sung as people danced in Hope Square. An old police station was built in the square along with recruitment offices for wartime personnel!! The authenticity of the uniforms and the effort made was excellent.
The sun shone for Dorset Seafood Festival 2014 where we unveiled our outside ‘barrel’ bar. There was a great atmosphere in and around the pub. It was perfect weather for a nice cold Pimms and Lemonade.
Each day we enjoyed Replay who did a great job at getting the crowds dancing in the square. We were also treated to a performance from the Fishwives who entertained us with their classic songs!
Dorset Seafood Festival is continuing to grow each year and is a great event to visit next year if you missed 2014!
A massive Thank You to all the team for working really hard over this busy weekend.
Every June (normally the first weekend after the May Whitsun bank holiday weekend) Hope Square plays host to many traditional and modern folk bands and individuals playing to a large and enthusiastic audience on the main stage of the event. The quayside too has acts either alfresco or tucked in to the corners of pubs doing their thing. A great time was had by all and its free! The event takes up Saturday and Sunday and this year 2014 had to be the best year yet. From all at the Red Lion we would like to thank all who supported the event and here’s to next year!
The Artistes Featured were…
REG MEUROSS (with Jess Vincent) – Album Launch.
O’Dalaigh’s Ceilidh Band
The Bow legged Skeeter
JC and Angelina
the Grimaldi Band
Wight Hot Pipes
Alan Kirkpatrick and John Shaw
The Stone Donkey pilots
The infamous Wild Rover set
Unprepared Jug Band
Moonshine – Appalachian