Great Britain

Landlords at The Wheatsheaf in Ashton provide free Christmas lunch for its locals

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf
A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

What better way to say thank you for another year of custom than a free festive lunch?

What better way to say thank you for another year of custom than a free festive lunch?

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

Liz and Brian Luxton, who run The Wheatsheaf, in Water Lane, Ashton, provided a three-course Christmas dinner for 75 of their regulars who were aged over 58.

As well as fun party games and dancing, they were entertained by The Singing Postman.

Liz said: “This is our 10th free Christmas dinner for our locals.

“When we first moved into the pub nine years ago, we used to give free food at night when the football was on, but we realised those that came in during the day never got a treat.

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

“So we decided to do something for the older folk that came in during the day and we offered them a free Christmas lunch.

“There was only 10 of them during the first one.

“Each year it has got bigger and bigger, and this year it escalated to 75 people, which is amazing.

“It is invite only and we start telling people in November so they know the date. We then provide tickets.

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

A thank you Christmas dinner at The Wheatsheaf

“They have to be a certain age - over 58.

“It is a mixture of people who come in during the day and night.

“We just think it is a nice thing to do at Christmas.

“A lot of people are single men who may not spent Christmas with anyone so they have at least one Christmas dinner.”

One of the pub regulars paid for the meat, and Amber Taverns, which owns the pub, supplied the wine for free.

Guests also enjoyed a free glass of gin and tonic on arrival and were given a wrapped Christmas present, which spread lots of joy.

Liz said she loved playing hostess during the afternoon and making sure everyone had a good time.

She said: “Everyone loved it. It was very satisfying seeing everyone eating, drinking and dancing.

“We got a lot of feedback from people who said they enjoyed it.

“It is just something my husband, Brian, and I wanted to do to say thank you for using the pub all year.”

Liz and Brian like to be part of the community.

They show live sports on TV and have regular live music nights, which bring in the crowds.

The next music night will be January 18, where Makapaka will be playing.