New landlords give a home to community lunch club

The Oxford Times: Barbara Naylor, centre, with Jennifer and Martyn Clemson Buy this photo » Barbara Naylor, centre, with Jennifer and Martyn Clemson

NEW landlords have made their Risinghurst pub home to a new community lunch club.

The Ampleforth Arms is now hosting a fortnightly lunch club for those looking to socialise on the estate.

The club, which meets every two weeks on Mondays at the pub, was started last month by Risinghurst and Sandhills Parish Council chairman Barbara Naylor.

Mrs Naylor of Ringwood Road in Risinghurst, said nearly 20 people had come to the first two meetings which feature £4 meals.

She said: “It is for people on their own or couples that can’t walk too far. But anyone who would like to come, can come.

“People on the estate don’t necessarily know each other and I would like to invite anyone who lives in Risinghurst to come and join us.”

And she said she hoped the club would mean more people used the pub which has recently been taken over by landlords from Cornwall.

She said: “I hope to have talks and demonstrations as we get going.”

Landlord and landlady Martyn and Jennifer Clemson permanently took over the Collinwood Road pub on Friday, December 6, after taking temporary charge in October.

Mrs Clemson said the lunch club was the sort of community event she wanted to host. She added: “They have been twice now and they have thoroughly enjoyed it.

“We are trying to get the community and families back in the pub. We want a family community pub and that is how it is going at the moment. It is lovely.”

Mr Clemson said he wanted to bring a family-friendly atmosphere to the Punch Taverns pub. He said: “We came here originally just to manage it but we fell in love with the pub and its customers. It’s a lovely area and it just felt right.”

Laurence Baxter, Oxford City councillor for Risinghurst, said: “What they are saying about making it more of a community pub is what I was really pleased to hear because that is what Risinghurst really needs.”

A special Christmas community lunch club was held at the pub yesterday. The lunch club will meet again on Monday, January 13.

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