Basingstoke pub reaches finals of Community Pub Hero Awards

Pub recognised for community support during lockdown

The Portsmouth Arms in Hatch Warren, Basingstoke is one of just 10 pubs from across the country to reach the finals of the Community Pub Hero Awards, organised by PubAid and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and sponsored by Matthew Clark.

Community Pub Hero Logo
By Ros Shiel, Director, ShielPorter Communications

22 April 2021

The competition was created to recognise the great work done by pubs since the first Covid lockdown in March last year, who have gone above and beyond to support their local communities, despite facing uncertainty themselves.

Rich Curtis, general manager at the Hall & Woodhouse pub, launched a virtual pub quiz on Facebook Live at the end of March 2020, as a way of bringing a pub experience to locked down customers in their homes. The response was enthusiastic and soon the quiz was running twice a day: a family-friendly one at 5.00 pm – staged with help from Rich’s 9 yearold son Oliver - and one for adults at 8.00. Participants could join for free, but were asked to make a donation to a charity, chosen by the pub and changing every week.

Within a few weeks, the quizzes had raised more than £9,000 for charity and had more than 100, 000 views, not just from the UK but globally. Every week, Rich came up with a new theme for the quiz to keep it fresh, and had a few star guests. In May, Rich broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest quiz master session, achieving a 34-hour and 11-minute quiz which raised more than £21,000 for The Pink Place Cancer Charity in Basingstoke. In total, the Portsmouth Arms quizzes have raised close to £50,000 for charities.

Nationwide, 115 pubs entered the Community Pub Hero Awards, the majority nominated by their local MP. Entries were judged by a panel of industry experts and the overall Community Pub Hero will be announced later this spring.

PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “Our heartfelt congratulations go to the Portsmouth Arms. Landlords and landladies and their teams have offered invaluable support for communities during the pandemic, whether offering vital supplies for residents, cooking hot meals for the elderly or countering social isolation through online quizzes or chats. Choosing the 10 finalists was a real challenge for the judges, as every pub who entered had a strong story to tell. Those who have reached the shortlist should be very proud of their achievement.”

Richard Hayhoe, Marketing Director, Matthew Clark added: “We were delighted to support this competition and pleased with the response from pubs and the many MPs who nominated a ‘hero’ in their constituency. The fantastic work done by so many licensees and teams during the lockdowns and periods of restricted trading over the last year have provided a vital lifeline to countless people, and prove that pubs are genuinely a force for good in their communities.”

Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said: “These awards have been a great opportunity for MPs to celebrate how landladies and landlords in their constituencies have stepped up to the mark to support their community during the pandemic. Yet again we have seen that pubs are the antidote to isolation.”

This is the third year for the competition, which was reshaped and renamed this year – it was formerly Charity Pub of the Year - to focus on community support rather than traditional charity fundraising.


  • The Angel & Crown, Richmond

  • The Bevy, Brighton

  • The Bowgie Inn, Crantock near Newquay, Cornwall

  • The Clifton Arms, Blackburn

  • The Horse & Jockey, Melling, Merseyside

  • The Mowden, Darlington

  • The Old Courts, Wigan

  • The Orange Tree, Baldock, Hertfordshire

  • The Portobello Inn, West Kingsdown, Kent

  • The Portsmouth Arms, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke



The Portsmouth Arms, Hatch Warren Lane, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke, RG22 4RA

Licensee: Rich Curtis

Tel: 01256 334036

PubAid is a working party created in 2009 to promote UK pubs as a force for good in their communities, sharing the message that they raise over £100m per year for charities and contribute £40 million to grassroots sport. PubAid runs the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, which has raised £750,000 since its launch in 2016, and the Charity Pub of the Year Awards, which ran in 2018 and 2019 before being renamed as the Community Pub Hero Awards inn2020.

The PubAid steering group is led by co-founder Des O’Flanagan, and includes a number of well-known figures from the pub world, who lend their time and other resources to help spread the positive messages about pubs’ role at the heart of their communities.

Matthew Clark is a leading national drinks wholesaler with over 200 years’ experience supplying drink products, hospitality training, labour management and marketing support to over 16,000 On-Trade premises in the UK.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group was set up in 1993 and has a membership of over 350 MPs and Peers. The Beer Group’s objectives are to broaden recognition of the enormous contribution of brewing and pubs to the UK economy from grain to glass - and to celebrate the unique role that beer and pubs play in our society

For further information:

For PubAid: Ros Shiel at / 07841 694137

For APPBG: Paul Hegarty at or 07808 096250

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