Devon and Cornwall border pubs are ‘scared’ as drinkers threaten to storm across the Tamar to cheat Tier 2 lockdown

Landlady Amy Newland has already had calls today from Plymouth drinkers asking for opening hours.

Devon drinkers cannot cross the border into Tier 1 pubs in Cornwall as they must continue to follow the Tier 2 regulations.

But publicans are worried about how they will police the rules – especially in Gunnislake, a former mining village which sits right next to that famous divide, the River Tamar, just metres from the Devon/Cornwall border.

Despite technically nestling just inside Cornwall, the border is so close that the village’s historic Newbridge – which runs over the Tamar – has a Devon sign on one side and a Cornwall sign on the other.

The local councils even take it in turns to maintain the bridge given its “no man’s land” status.

Landlady Amy Newland at the White Hart in Chilsworthy near Gunnislake is right on the Devon border. She said she has already had calls today from Devon drinkers asking for opening hours next week when Cornwall goes into Tier 1.

Amy said: “We will be in tier 1 in Cornwall which means we will trade the way we were in October before this lockdown. I have already had people ring me from Plymouth saying they are going to be over. They said they might pop up for a beer and asked what’s our opening times.

Publicans Amy and Ian outside The White Hart feature in Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge

“I’m not sure what it will be like but it’s scary. It’s going to be really difficult for us to police and we are not going to get any support. It’s going to be at our discretion

“It’s going to be scary from a Covid point-of-view because you don’t know where people have been. We are Covid-safe and all the proper procedures are in place to protect everyone. But I am dubious about it staffing levels and costs are going to be an issue.

“We are just a small country pub and we are on a walking route. You don’t know where people are coming from and this is a serious situation.

“It was already difficult trying to enforce the rules before, telling people what to do, you feel like a school teacher and now we will have the added pressure of being a pub right on the border. We are in Cornwall but only four miles from Tavistock.”

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Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge at The White Hart in Chilsworthy, on the Devon and Cornwall border

The White Hart has become famous over the last few weeks as it features on the new BBC2 series, Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge. The third and final episode about The White Hart will be on tonight (Wednesday, November 26).

Amy said: “I hope I don’t cry tonight – I’ve cried every time so far.”

The picturesque Rising Sun at Gunnislake is just over the Devon border

What one thing would you change about Devon? Click here to have your say

At The Rising Sun in Gunnislake the owner Craig Howe said: “We do think people are going to be jumping over the border.

“We don’t know yet how desperate people are going to be to get back to the pub.

“But we are just a little country cottage pub with an open fire and we can only accommodate a certain number of people.

“We have alarge garden and outdoor gazebos and we might have to put extra staff on to make sure everybody is sticking to the rules.”





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