Brakspear Pub In Wiltshire Stages ‘Stunning’ D-Day 80 Commemoration

A Brakspear village pub in Wiltshire became the venue for the largest D-Day 80 event of its kind last week. The Barleycorn in Collingbourne Kingston staged a three-day commemoration which has so far raised £12,192 for charity, including a £2,000 donation from Brakspear under its Brakspear’s Giving Back scheme.

As long-standing supporters of the military and veterans, The Barleycorn’s licensees Tom Robinson & Terry Burgess started planning the events programme in January, with their pub team, the local community and military personnel at nearby Tidworth.

The Barleycorn followed the national programme of events, starting at 9.00 on 6 June with the D-Day 80 Proclamation read in the pub, and culminating in a 40s-themed Ball & Charity Auction on the Saturday night. In between, residents and visitors enjoyed an array of activities including a picnic on the Village Green, a Beacon Lighting, D-Day flypast and entertainment from a number of musical acts including The Salisbury Big Band

Throughout the commemoration, a D-Day exhibition ran in Collingbourne Village Hall, with live and static WW2 displays including reenactments by Monty’s Misfits, a General Eisenhower Convoy tribute and Children’s Art Wall, while local people were encouraged to submit mementos or stories from relatives who served during the war. Back at The Barleycorn, team members dressed as Land Girls ran the pub across the three days.

Money raised will be divided equally between the nationally nominated D-Day 80 charities: The RAF Benevolent Fund, The Royal Naval Association, ABF The Soldiers’ charity, The Merchant Navy Association and the Normandy Memorial Trust.

The Barleycorn licensee Tom Robinson said:
“We were absolutely stunned by the response to our D-Day 80 events from initial planning to the final event. Everyone we approached got behind it with huge energy and generosity.

“We are so grateful to our wonderful team at the pub, local volunteers and organisations who donated auction prizes.  We’re delighted that, together, we achieved an event that remembered our WW2 heroes, entertained our customers and raised more than £12,000 for worthy charities – a figure that will climb over coming weeks as more donations come in.”

Brakspear managing director Tom Davies said:
“For a small village pub to have successfully staged something of this scale is just phenomenal and Tom, Terry and the team deserve huge congratulations – as well as a day off!

“The Barleycorn is a great community pub and they did what these pubs do best, bringing people together and fostering a sense of togetherness.  We are delighted to be adding our contribution from the Breakspear’s Giving Back scheme to the amazing sum they have raised for their chosen charities.”