Community rallies round Loanhead pub ‘hub’
The local community has come together to help a Loanhead pub adhere to social distancing rules when restrictions are lifted and it can re-open.
The Masons Arms (known as Paddys to locals) has pulled out all the stops to ensure it can open its doors when allowed to do so, which under Scottish Government guidance is currently July 15.
Owner Joyce Ross and her family have poured blood, sweat and tears into this over the past five weeks with the help of local joiners Eliot Gray and Henry Peden. Loanhead-based gin company SOS Gin have also enlisted their help, helping with painting and supplying window boxes.
And local businessman Alan Laidlaw has supplied hand sanitising station to the pub, with locals also offering their time to help with any other jobs needing done.
Local customer Dawn Carnie heaped praise on the pub and the local community for coming together to help the Masons Arms adhere to new social distancing regulations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “It’s a friendly pub and a lot of locals have been involved in helping them. They have been replacing flooring and re-fitted the kitchen. Basically the place has been refurbished inside and out.
“Joyce is literally replacing as much as she can to adhere to the guidelines. Obviously because it’s not a huge pub there are bits where you can no longer sit. They are removing stools and trying to make the most of the space they have got to meet the guidelines.”
Dawn is delighted to see locals helping this local “hub”.
She said: “It’s really nice to see locals helping them as well. I think they are just giving their time for free.
“Because the pub is one of the smaller places it could struggle otherwise. But they and the community have thrown everything into it.
“I was thinking about the older people that go there. It’s their hub, so it’s very important to keep it going.
“This isn’t just a public house, this is a place where anyone from elderly to young come to feel like family. Some have no family and this is where they come to feel like part of a family.
“I have realised how much this place is a hub of community spirit and in these in precedented times would bring together everyone who have dearly missed their only means of family. Joyce and family are going all out to make this place once again the heart of the community.”