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The Bevy

50 Hillside

Brighton

BN2 4TF

01273 281009

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© The Bevendean Pub. 2017

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The Bevy Blog

By thebevypub, Apr 12 2016 11:45AM

As the packed pub raised a glass, the vicar of Moulsecoomb said it was like being at his own wake; but there was nothing downbeat about Father John Wall's leaving bash at the Bevy – the community pub he helped open. It was like an old Mayors roadshow while Brighton's three main political parties were present along with teachers, builders, sixth formers from Brighton Aldridge Academy, residents, church-goers, journalists – a whole cross section of society turning out to show their appreciation to someone who would always go that extra mile for people (now I am starting to sound like he's dead!). Father John – the vicar whose such a good bloke he almost makes you want to believe in God! His eleven year stint as the vicar of Moulsecoomb saw numbers double at his congregation; but he was more than just a vicar with many unbelievers acknowledging the difference he has made to one of Brighton's forgotten communities.


One of my kids said he was the funniest adult he knew as he did another assembly at Moulsecoomb Primary dressed up as Darth Vader. He loved to get adults to sing 'Thank you God for giving us food' to the Superman theme. One time I thought he was doing really well selling Bevy shares at a beer festival. He just shrugged that most people were trying to argue about the existence of God. On the way home on the bus he tapped one passenger on the shoulder who was the doing the usual there-never-reopen-a-dodgy-Moulsecoomb-boozer line and gave him a piece of his mind. The guy jumped off at the next stop, probably arguing that even the vicars weren't to be messed with in Moulsecoomb!


Would the Bevy have opened without him? I'm not sure it would and it also stuck me as ironic that in our right-on ever-so-smug-city it was the old fashioned Church that were our biggest backers and believers. He also served as chaplain for three different Mayors – where the highlight must surely have been blessing a new fairground ride on the pier!


Not only had Father John played a pivotal role in helping re-open the Bevy, but the church hall in Bevendean is now a community centre with food bank and dementia café. He held monthly Leaders Lunches bringing together people to help run services more effectively. The church now hosts Sussex University's 'Into University' scheme, running afterschool clubs for local pupils.


With austerity sweeping away anything that isn't statutory, it is local communities and the church that are having to plug the gaps. Our massive loss is Uckfields gain and I pray for the next vicar of Moulsecoomb. They've got some bloody big boots to fill.


Warren Carter


By thebevypub, Dec 23 2015 11:44AM


Last week the Bevy celebrated its first birthday, and the week showcased how we are so much more than just a pub.

For our birthday party who better than the fab Fish Brothers to entertain a packed Bevy. Our community choir sang on the Monday and on Wednesday evening Lee and Karen Sullivan treated 30 adults with learning disabilities from Spiral, to a Christmas meal and a drink.


On Thursday sixty older residents were served a Christmas meal by catering students from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy. The regulars who organise our Friday Friends Club had raised enough money so everyone got a couple of free drinks. One regular played piano and the BACA choir turned up at the end the afternoon for a sing-song.

On Saturday over 40 children came to our Christmas parties with games, food and of course an appearance by Father Christmas. In the evening our local vicar Father John encouraged everyone to sing Christmas carols.

Then there was the usual men and women's darts matches, our regular quiz night and just having somewhere for people to come and have a drink or coffee and a meal and meet their neighbours.

We've still got a lot to do, but are pretty pleased with what we have achieved in our first year. And if you are looking for a New Years resolution remember the Bevy is your community pub, so why not make it your venue for your party or event, or to treat the family to one of our amazing Sunday lunches

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By thebevypub, Nov 23 2015 02:18PM

LAST Saturday I found myself not at my usual windswept non league football ground but at the theatre.


My excuse was that The Bevy had been nominated for “Best community Business” at The Argus’s Community Stars awards at the Theatre Royal.


A motley crew of staff, committee members and customers went along and were chuffed to win.



As we swarmed the stage one of our regulars spoke to The Argus about how The Bevy has been a lifeline for him.


Born with a disability and hearing problems he recently had a stroke and has lost most of his sight, and with it his job.


He has been welcomed as part of our stalwart day-time retired drinking club and one of the builders swapped numbers in case he ever needed a lift to The Bevy.


It might not seem much, but those little acts of kindness strengthen our communities and make them much better places for everyone.


The old timers at the bar have spoken how since The Bevy re-opened they feel like they are back in the human race, have somewhere friendly to go and have met more of their neighbours.


A simple hello in the morning makes all the difference.


They have been pivotal in helping us organise our first garden festival, kids’ Hallowe’en party and the children’s Christmas party.


They helped raise the money for a defibrillator that will now be available outside the pub 24/7 and have raised money for elderly residents who come to our Friday lunch club so they can all afford a Christmas dinner.


We live in a society that is increasingly isolated, where old people are left to rot and people live in fear of crime.


We know that what we do will be needed more and more as community spaces are lost to property vultures, greedy pubcos and a tsunami of council cuts that will decimate services for the needy and vulnerable.


Against this backdrop, one of our visions we had when we campaigned for nearly five years to open The Bevy was that it would feel like a front room; somewhere you felt immediately welcome when you walked through the door.


We have already shown that we are more than just a pub with 40 groups using us since we opened last December – everything from felt making to history groups to health MOTs, WI knit and natter, our monthly repair cafe, weekly senior tea club, community choir, running club, Spiral disability group, men and women darts teams, the list goes on.


We’ve also held our first wedding where at one point there were 11 vicars in the house.


It’s not all been plain sailing, like any new business we have suffered from cash flow problems, building problems, personnel problems.


We have the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy students coming in to cook Christmas dinner for older residents on the estate.


We also have Spiral, the disability group here every Wednesday and Lee Sullivan, who runs his own building firm, is buying their members a three course Christmas meal.


It is these sorts of events which put The Bevy at the heart of the community.


There is a great mix of people who come here.


When we do get it wrong we get it in the ear, but we have a suggestions box, and actually most of the people complaining do so because they want The Bevy to work as well.


It’s their pub.


Our co-operative model isn’t new.


There are already 35 co-op pubs across the country and hundreds more co-operatively owned shops, but the majority of these are in villages.


What The Bevy has done is break the mould and become the first one on a housing estate, with we hope, a blueprint of how to stem the tide of 29 pubs closing a week by making them more than just pubs.


We have spoken to campaigners wanting to re-open the The Rosehill, The Cuthbert and Lecturn pubs as community spaces.


We aren’t out of the woods yet and still want people to become shareholders for as little as £10, or more if you can afford it – it would be the perfect Christmas present for the person who has everything.


We understand not everyone has money to spare.


But you can also support us just by popping in for a pint or a coffee, booking your company Christmas meal or using us for meetings and parties.


When you boil it all down, its about knowing your neighbours and creating jobs, wealth and opportunities that will make Moulsecoomb and Bevendean better places for us all to live and work.


Warren Carter is chairman of the Bevy.

By thebevypub, Oct 26 2015 12:54PM


One of the visions we had when we opened The Bevy was that it would feel like a front room; somewhere you felt immediately welcome when you walked thru the door. Our first ever garden fayre was the perfect example of how we are achieving that. From 3 to 83 years old, people mingled, tasted free nibbles and cake, carved pumpkins and enjoyed the banter. One older resident apologised for arriving early, saying otherwise she would just be sitting at home on her own. The old guys that populate the bar in the day raised nearly £200 through raffles and cake sales to make sure older residents would be able to afford Christmas dinner at the Bevy.

One lad with learning disabilities had a stroke recently and has lost most of his sight. He has been welcomed as part of the last of the summer-wine-club and one of the builders swapped numbers in case he ever needed a lift to the pub. It might not seem much, but those little acts of kindness, strengthen our communities and make them much better places for everyone.

We live in a society that is increasingly isolated, where old people are left to rot and people live in fear of crime. We know that what we do will be needed more and more as community spaces are lost to property vultures, greedy pubcos and a tsunami of council cuts.

We have already shown that we are more than just a pub with 40 groups using the Bevy since we opened last December – everything from felt making to history groups to health MOTs, WI knit and natter, our monthly repair cafe, weekly senior tea club, community choir, running club, Spiral disability group, men and women darts teams, the list goes on. We've also held our first wedding where at one point there were 11 vicars in the house!

It's not all been plain sailing, like any new business we have suffered from cash flow problems, building problems, personnel problems. When we do get it wrong we get it in the ear, but we have a suggestions box, and actually most of the people complaining do so because they want the Bevy to work as well. It's their pub.

Now open for 9 months, i've met as many people on my estate in those nine months as I have in last nine years. You can also never quite know who's going to be in the pub with so many different activities happening.

Getting the Bevy up and running has been like turning round a tanker, but we reckon we have a blueprint of how we can stop the tide of 29 pubs closing a week by making them more than just pubs. We have spoken to campaigners wanting to re-open the The Rosehill, The Cuthbert and Lecturn pubs as community spaces and I have met with other community pub campaigners that are springing up all around the country.

We aren't out of the woods yet and still want people to become shareholders for as little as £10 (or more if you can afford it – the perfect Christmas present for the person who has everything) We understand not everyone has money to spare, but you can also support us just by popping in for a pint or a coffee, a meal or booking the Bevy for meetings and parties.

When you boil it all down, its about knowing your neighbours and creating jobs, wealth and opportunities that will make Moulsecoomb and Bevendean better places for us all to live and work. Surely that's something to raise a glass to?

Warren Carter

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