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Pubs across UK start lighting candles in response to rising energy costs

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Pubs across UK start lighting candles in response to rising energy costs

You may have heard that energy bills are soaring, which is going to make the months ahead tough for many of us.

And in a bid to keep the lights on, many pubs across the UK are turning the lights off all together.

The Masons Arms in Camelford, Cornwall, is now solely using candlelight on Mondays to keep costs down - and it's also bringing in more customers too.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Landlady Kate Chawner-Woods has been pushed to the limit by skyrocketing energy bills, after her August statement increased from an average of £700 in 2018 to more than £3,000 this year.

"When I opened the electricity bill I thought 'how are we going to cope?'" she said.

"It was really scary and we were so worried about how this winter was going to pan out - it's a massive increase, our electricity bill isn't much less than our rent now.

"I was moaning and cursing when I got the bill through when one of the locals turned around and told me to just turn the lights out, go back to the way it used to be.

"So that got me thinking and now we've gone back to using only candles on a Monday, like how it would have been when the pub opened in 1753."

She added: "At 6pm we cut out all the lights - people really like it, we had 65 covers last Monday which is far more than we'd usually get on a Monday in October.

"The atmosphere is great, everybody seems to like it - it's romantic and people seem to talk to each other a lot more, it's really lovely."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

There you go, maybe we don't need electricity after all? Maybe we should start cooking on fires too and sleeping under the stars.

In all seriousness though, visiting the pub could be more invaluable than ever over the winter, as we seek social interaction, camaraderie and warmth, so it is vital that they stay open.

Kate said: "The warmth of the candles actually means we don't need the heating as much.

"It was toasty in here last month, so if demand continues we want to do it on another weekday as well.

"It's important that we do this because coming to the pub is a really important part of some of our locals' lives.

"It's hard for everybody right now, not just businesses - everyone is suffering.

"We want people to be able to come to the pub and spend some time in the warmth because it might actually be cheaper than heating their own homes."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

The Angel and Crown in Richmond, South West London, said it is facing its biggest financial challenge in its 400 year history.

The pub has decided to use candlelight in the evening, turning lights down during the day, and keeping the fireplace alight instead of turning the heating on.

Owner and manager Hannah Lawson said: "We've seen a 25 percent increase on our bills, so we've had to put all of our prices up unfortunately.

"In some ways the candles have created a nice atmosphere, but customers have noticed that we haven't been able to put the lights on."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

As well as upping prices, Hannah has had to reduce opening hours, and she fears the current trajectory won't be sustainable.

She said: "It's going to get to the point where we have to keep putting up our prices until it's unaffordable.

"We've already had some of our regulars stop coming in because they just can't afford it anymore.

"I hope for everybody that pubs survive, because for some people it's the only conversation they have that day - it's not just going out for a pint, it's so much more than that."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink, Money

Jake Massey
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