'Any excuse to wear a festive jumper!' - Hartlepool pub celebrates 'Christmas Day' on sunny May afternoon
Staff and customers at a Hartlepool pub got into the festive spirit by celebrating Christmas five months late.
The Nursery Inn, in Hopps Street, decked out the pub and invited Hartlepool Brass Band to play carols in the bright sunshine on Sunday, May 30.
It was the idea of pub managers Deborah and Ian Humberston after missing out on Christmas last year because of the lockdown.
Despite the spring sunshine, bar staff dressed as elves, customers wore Christmas jumpers and even Santa himself put in an appearance to give out gifts.
Landlady Deborah said: “Since opening inside on May 17 we’ve had a 12-day advent which ended on Saturday night and today is our Christmas Day.
"We always celebrate Christmas in here so as soon as we came inside we said ‘we’re going to do Christmas’.”
As well as the carol service and presents for the customers, the pub also raffled off a Christmas hamper complete with turkey, pork joint and all the trimmings.
Deborah was delighted with how the event went saying: “It’s been really good. We’ve been kept busy.”
Hartlepool Brass Band entertained customers with a set list of classic Christmas songs and carols such as Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Once in Royal David’s City and Silent Night.
Young members William Myles, aged eight, and his 11-year-old brother James stole the show with their renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bell Rock.
Customers Kate Sirs, 42, and partner Chris Swanston, 38, of Park Road, both said it was “brilliant”.
Kate added: “We like Ian and his staff and I’m here for the Christmas music.
"Any excuse to wear a Christmas jumper in May! I think it’s a great idea after the year everyone has had and missing out on Christmas.
"The little lad who played Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was amazing.”
Also in the audience was Phil Handley, 60, and his wife Claire, 55, from Hartlepool.
Phil, who is retired, said: “We’re not regulars but were in last night and found out about it. We like brass bands.
"It’s very novel. It’s remembering Christmas past and also looking forward to Christmas future.”