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Croxton Kerrial pub offers beer... and books

Nick Holden and Kate Ahrens in their new library.
Nick Holden and Kate Ahrens in their new library.

Punters at a village pub will now be able to curl up with their favourite tales.

The Geese and Fountain in Croxton Kerrial has recently converted a corner of their pub into a cosy library, boasting more than 1,400 books.

Customers will be able to join the library for free, and borrow up to three books at a time.

The pub’s licensee, Nick Holden, who re-opened the pub in 2015 along with partner Kate Ahref, is hoping that it will help to boost business as well as providing a much-needed service in the village.

Nick, 48, said: “I like the idea of people being able to come to the pub and read. Life without books would be miserable. Both myself and Kate are avid readers and have been collecting books for over 30 years. The village is too small for an established library and we don’t have out-reach library facilities, so not only will it provide a service for the village but it will give people an excuse to visit the pub.”

The library, which was launched last week, is already becoming popular with the locals.

Nick added: “We have heard about other pubs who have a library corner. They often have honesty systems in place but we wanted to do it a bit differently. We have got library cards and a members data base, We want it to be like a traditional library.”

So whether it is action and adventure or a romance novel, customers have got plenty of choice.

Nick added: “They can either take the books away with them or sit and read them at the pub. We are open from 8.30am, so we will happily keep them topped up with tea, coffee and homemade chocolate brownies.”

Since taking over in 2015, Nick and Kate have settled into village life.

Nick added: “My grandparents lived in Woolsthorpe, so it feels like I am coming home. Croxton Kerrial is a wonderful place to live with so many great people. We hear about so many villages that are losing their traditional pubs or they are being turned into restaurants. The pub is at the heart of village life, so it feels great to be able to give something back to the community.”

But be warned – anyone late returning their books will be named and shamed on the pub’s ‘board of shame’.


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