Hawick club officials hoping beer garden will be pitch perfect for summer
Cheer will be in plentiful supply among Borderers desperate for a pint now it’s been confirmed that the biggest beer garden in the region is to be opened in Hawick next week.
Officials at Hawick Rugby Club have decided to capitalise on the abandonment of planned sporting fixtures at their Mansfield Park ground due to the coronavirus lockdown by creating an alfresco pub on its pitch.
After consultation with Scottish Borders Council officers and relaxation of lockdown laws by the Scottish Government, that plan is being put into practice from Tuesday, July 7.
Now club officials are hoping the sun will put its hat on to ensure a successful launch and the chance to add some much-needed funds to club coffers left depleted by the curtailment of last season.
Club secretary John Thorburn said: “We have to meet the conditions set by the council regarding social distancing and safety relating to Covid-19 and we are ready to open next Tuesday.
“We are delighted that this can go ahead, but we are in the lap of the gods, obviously, with regard to the weather, but that’s what you do in Scotland, and we just hope that the weather is kind and hopefully we get a good turnout.”
The beer garden will be open 4pm to 8pm from Monday to Thursday, from noon to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to 4pm on Sundays.
Customers are being asked to call 01450 390390 to reserve tables at weekends.
The club is advising customers that they can’t bring their own alcohol along or put up gazebos or tents at the ground.
The announcement has been met with much enthusiasm on social media platforms.
Matthew Young posted: “The pitch is looking in great condition. Rugby plus beer garden equals perfection.”
Leighann Rowley wrote: “We have missed so many sevens, so this would be ideal. We will wait for the next decent weather day when we are both off work.”
John Ferrie posted that he is looking forward to a day soon when rugby and not just beer is served up on the pitch, adding: “Good luck with the quest to get back on the field.
“My suggestion is to get behind your first minister to support her moves and, like New Zealand, you will be back sooner than you think.”
The move was inspired by Barrow Raiders in Cumbria after club bosses there announced plans to convert the pitch at their Craven Park stadium into a socially-distanced bar during the pandemic.
Pubs in the Borders, like all others elsewhere in the UK, have been closed since last orders on Friday, March 20, ahead of the week after’s wider lockdown, though some, such as the Fleece in Selkirk, are selling takeaway food.