A pub in Northampton and its regulars have surprised a local care home with a motorbike rally after learning of its biking enthusiasts residents.
Publican of the The King Billy Rock Bar in Commercial Street, Northampton town, Rachel Nash and six of the pub’s regulars who are all avid motorcyclists traveled from the pub to Ashurst Mews Care Home in Moulton to surprise residents.
The visit came after a team member at the home who helps to run entertainment and classes for residents saw other biker runs that the King Billy Rock Bar has done in the community.
Knowing that some of the residents would love to see the bikes up close and chat to the bikers, they reached out to the pub who rallied the regulars together.
It was a multi-generational rally too with publican Rachel’s eight-year-old granddaughter also riding pillion.
Rachel Nash at King Billy Rock Bar, said: “We were able to take some impressive Harley Davidson and Yamaha bikes to the residents who could then spend time chatting to the bikers and everyone was sharing stories.
“We are a real pub family at the King Billy and the regulars who took part enjoyed it as much as those at Ashurst Mews. We do a lot in the community and for charities locally, especially using our bike rallies, but this is the first visit to a care home.”
Rachel took on a temporary lease from Star Pubs and Bars to run The King Billy in January 2023 but also worked at the pub prior to this. She has grown up around bikers her entire life and got her own license at 40, before having to give it up due to health reasons.
The pub also runs other community initiatives including an annual Santa Dash taking presents to local teenagers in Northampton care homes. However, Rachel says that the current economic situation for pubs is putting these types of community and fundraising efforts at risk and appeals for people to visit their local pub as closures will have a significant impact.
She said: “People must visit and support their local pubs because it’s more than a place where people drink. Across the UK, local pubs will also be community hubs that do everything from food banks and fundraising nights to putting on free food for local grassroot sports clubs. The impact therefore of a pub closing will be felt across the whole community.”
Des O’Flanagan, Co-Founder of PubAid, the industry voice for pubs and their positive contribution to society, said: “Pubs raise more than £100 million every year for charities as well as being at the heart of their community. The King Billy and Rachel are a prime example of how a pub does much more than serving food and drink. Activities led by pubs, publicans and regulars just like the bike rally are taking place across the country every day but as more pubs face closure these will stop. This is in addition to them being places for people to socialise and helping combat issues such as loneliness. People can be part of a pub family and for some, they wouldn’t see and speak to people if they didn’t have their local pub.”