This is the heartwarming moment a pub landlord told a 90-year-old regular that members of the public had gifted him a £700 ($990) bar tab. Watch below:
Ninety-year-old Pete's daily visits to the Moulsham Inn went viral after landlord Tim Mepham posted TikTok videos of him popping in for a regular lunch of hunter's chicken and a glass of wine, which quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
In one of the videos, Pete describes the boozer as 'paradise', adding: "If I don't come here, I'm in a wooden box."
The OAP's love for the pub captured the imagination of the internet - so much so that when Tim, 39, shared Pete's table number, orders soon came flooding in, leaving Pete with enough cash for 120 glasses of wine and months of lunches.
Tim said: "Pete is genuinely one of the most polite gentleman I've ever met.
"He's so thankful for what we do for him, the time he spends with us and with what's happened recently, and his sense of humour is razor sharp.
"People bought Pete drinks because they just thought he was a nice guy. He isn't in need or poor, and people didn't pity him, they just loved him. "
Tim has known Pete since he started working as manager at the Moulsham Inn in Chelmsford three years ago.
He continued: "He has stories for all ages. He does impressions of cartoon characters that kids love. He can make you laugh and make you cry in one story. "
After noticing he was a regular, Tim sat down and introduced himself - and the pair soon became friends.
He said: "Pete comes in pretty much every day.
"Quite often his son-in-law will have lunch with him as he works locally, but when Pete's alone I will sit with him until his lunch arrives, and if I'm not there, one of my team will."
On 24 May, Tim posted a video introducing Pete on his TikTok account, which quickly gained hundreds of thousands of views.
He said: "So many people commented about if and how they could buy this lovely man a drink, so I posted a video on how you could, via the order and pay app.
"That day the ticket machine didn't stop and Pete had 120 glasses of wine bought for him and enough hunter's chicken to last him months."
His tab reached over £700, and the next day Tim told Pete the good news.
The video of Pete's touching reaction got 1.6 million views on the social platform in just the first day.
Tim said: "Pete's story isn't unique, maybe the going viral part is, but there are so many people out there who are alone and lonely.
"Elderly, vulnerable and even teenagers. Loneliness can affect many people in many ways and after the year we've all had I think it's so important to reach out to these people.
"Pete has asked people to stop buying him food and drinks now as he believes there must be so many other people out there we could support."
Tim, known on TikTok as The Pub Man, is setting up a 'Meet and Greet Lunchtime' at his establishment where lonely people can come together to socialise, inspired by Pete.
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