IT’S the popular community pub with a friendly atmosphere which sees regulars ranging from students to families returning for its competitive food.
The Jolly Farmer, in Andover Road, Winchester, has a “genuine atmosphere which is friendly, inviting and warm”, according to the pub manager, Frances Colemane.
However the atmosphere hasn’t always been so warm. Known for its heritage, The Jolly Farmer has a framed hangman’s noose on the wall next to the bar.
Frances, who has been running the pub for more than four years, said: “There’s reports that people were held here before being hanged.” Assistant manager Aaron Hall added: “They hanged them off the trees and left them there.”
It’s not known exactly where the hangings took place, apart from in an area known as Gallows Hill, which Frances said may have been in the field behind the pub, or on the green space near its car park.
Previously assistant manager at The Cricketers Arms pub in Eastleigh, Frances stepped up to run the Jolly Farmer in August 2014. When asked the sum up the appeal of the pub, she said: “Great service, reasonable and competitive prices.”
The pub currently has 12 other staff members, which includes three chefs. Frances said: “We’re very food-orientated. The staff are always cheerful, the pub sells itself.”
As well as the usual largers, Frances says they put on four rotating guest ales, as well as an IPA.
She added that the pub’s Sunday’s roasts are among it’s best sellers, and most popular days are the last Friday’s of the month, when it holds a regular karaoke night.
“You can’t predict what’s going to be the best day from one week to the next.”
As well as proving popular with families, the Winchester watering hole sees a big boost in its trade during the autumn month through students.
The pub is located a short walk away from the University of Winchester, as well as being nearby to local sixth-form colleges.
Frances said: “They don’t turn start turning 18 until October, so that is our big month.”
Following the student rush, The Jolly Famer is now turning it’s attention towards Christmas with the launch of it festive menu, available on the Jolly Farmer’s website.
Linda Jacobs, 54, from North Hill Close, Winchester, said: “It’s a brilliant pub, friendly staff – I’ve been coming to the pub for eight years. They cater for all your needs. It’s just a friendly local for me.”
Max Williamson, 82, from Imber Close, Winnall, said: “We’ve been coming here for a number of years. Pleasant staff who are very friendly. It’s got good food here all day, it’s advantageous to eat late.”
Adrian Coleman, 59, from North Hill Close, Winchester, said: “It’s the best pub in Winchester. I only live across the road and I’ve been coming here for 12 years. The staff are fantastic.”