Britain’s best pub revealed — Don War Memorial Bar in Stockton-on-Tees bags £1k top prize

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BRITAIN’S best boozer is the Don War Memorial Bar in Stockton-on-Tees.

We asked YOU to nominate your No1 watering hole and your entries flooded in.

Don War Memorial Bar
North News and Pictures

Britain’s best boozer is the Don War Memorial Bar in Stockton-on-Tees[/caption]

Don Bar
Don Bar’s remarkable landlady Julie Cooper offers free tea and coffee to veterans
North News and Pictures

Today we are proud to announce that the pub in County Durham, which is adorned with pictures and memorabilia of past and present Forces personnel, is the Sun’s official top local.

Former servicemen and women queued to tell us how the Don Bar’s remarkable landlady, Julie Cooper, serves beer and sympathy.

Julie will now get £1,000 to put behind the bar to throw a big party for her regulars.

Our judging panel included Bruce Masters, who holds the Guinness record for visiting 52,000 pubs in Britain.

Bruce, who was at the Don Bar in 2016, believes the unique pub deserves the Sun’s award.

Delighted landlady Julie, 55, said: “I can’t believe we have won. Thank you to all my amazing regulars who voted.”

Don Bar
Julie will now get £1,000 to put behind the bar to throw a big party for her regulars
North News and Pictures
Don Bar
Thomas Trotter, 98, who fought in Normandy, said: ‘I have the same seat every night and if I’m ever late they ring to check I’m all right
North News and Pictures
Don Bar
Thomas Trotter as a young man in the Armed Forces
North News and Pictures
Don Bar
Proud landlady Julie with Thomas, centre, and locals after their pub win
North News and Pictures

The Don Bar’s Forces theme almost came about by accident after Julie put up a display of poppies on Remembrance Day six years ago.

She was soon inundated with pictures from customers of loved ones serving in the Forces.

Now, every square inch of the pub is adorned with tributes. Julie even offers free tea and coffee and Christmas dinners to veterans.

Thomas Trotter, 98, who fought in Normandy, said: “I have the same seat every night and if I’m ever late they ring to check I’m all right. They are like a second family.”

A rent rise means Julie is moving to new premises in Thornaby.

She said: “We will use the Sun’s prize for a fantastic opening night.”

The Don Bar
The Don Bar’s Forces theme almost came about by accident after Julie put up a display of poppies on Remembrance Day six years ago
North News and Pictures


RUNNER-UP — THE CROWN INN

The Crown Inn
The Crown Inn at Gayton, Norfolk is one of our runner-ups
Albanpix

DOZENS of regulars nominated the Crown Inn at Gayton, Norfolk.

Landlady Lisa Staples, 47, and husband Neil, 56, bought the pub in 2018. Then almost a year later Lisa was diagnosed with bowel cancer and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Since her illness, locals have rallied round to help run the boozer.

Mum-of-four Lisa says: “My regulars have all asked if they could do shifts.

“Neil has walked in with flowers and cards from the customers. I have cried so much. Every pub can sell food and drinks but not all pubs have such a community.”

RUNNER-UP — COACH AND HORSES

The Coach And Horses
The Coach And Horses in Longborough, Gloucs, is also a runner-up
SWNS:South West News Service

LANDLORD Joe McDonagh and wife Wendy took over the Coach And Horses in 2012, transforming the boozer into the beating heart of a Cotswolds village.

Joe, 55, was delighted to hear the pub, in Longborough, Gloucs, had got to the final.

He said: “It’s lovely to have all the locals behind us.”

There is a popular lunch club, which is well attended by older locals, and regular quiz and music nights.

Mhorag Gilchrist, who nominated Joe and Wendy, 56, said: “They look after the elderly and it is not unusual to see a free plate of dinner being given to someone, who can’t afford the cost of eating out.”

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