• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Mourners gather in Witney pub to watch the Queen’s funeral


Sep 19, 2022

A pub in the heart of Witney opened its doors on Monday for mourners to watch the Queen’s funeral.

The Elm Tree in West End said it was “an emotional morning but lovely”.

The pub said on its Facebook page, it would be broadcasting the State funeral on all its screens and "although not necessary traditional funeral dress is welcome X"

Mick Williams, who served 22 years in the Army and has met the Queen and shaken her hand, arrived in a smart suit and tie and wore his medals and a poppy.

As the funeral started, families and regulars watched the broadcast over drinks and food which they had brought in.

READ ALSO: Mourners resort to watching Queen's funeral on phones due to rail disruption

At 11.55am those in the pub observed the two-minute silence with some customers standing out of respect.

Landlord Patrick 'Patch' Kinsella said he was possibly one of the only pubs to open because he thought it was important that pubs “at the heart of a community” offered a place for people to come together to mark the occasion.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “When times are hard you go to the pub! We are a traditional pub and it’s a time of mourning and I think it’s a time to bring people together especially after everything we’ve been through in the past couple of years."

Although it was partly of the celebration of the Queen's life – “I bought 70 metres of bunting – it’s behind the bar, in the fireplace, everywhere" – he said many were welling up during the service.

“People were crying. It was just a lovely atmosphere. Mick shed a tear and I gave him a pat on the back.

“We didn’t have music on and even now we’re looking at the coffin arriving at Windsor and we’ve just got the commentary on. We can hear the bagpipes and the clippity clop of the hoofs.

“We’ve had a lot of old boys in but the youngest we had in was 13 years old and we also had a baby in earlier,” he added.

“I don’t have much family and I find it very nice to have everyone come in here. It’s lovely.

“Sometimes if you’re emotional it can be nice to share your feelings with other people.”

READ ALSO: Queen's funeral recap: nation says farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

Last week Mr Kinsella also showed the first speech made by the new King Charles III after the death of his mother.

It was another emotional moment when they held a moment's silence for the Queen and raised a glass to the new King.

"And suddenly someone said, God Save the King and then the whole pub shouted God Save the King. It was like something out of a film!" he said.

Oxford Mail:

It was only months ago that the pub celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee putting on a guest beer from Marston’s called Cheers Ma’am.

Mr Kinsella said: I’m not a royalist as such, it’s just being patriotic.

"And once the funeral’s finished I’ve got a Best of British playlist on the jukebox and we’re going to have a knees up.”

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