Customers rally to get pub regular Alan a wheelchair

Customers at The Buccaneer pub raised enough money to buy Alan Norrish a wheelchair.
Customers at The Buccaneer pub raised enough money to buy Alan Norrish a wheelchair.

Customers at an Eastbourne pub have gone above and beyond to ensure an elderly man can continue getting out and about with his wife.

Betty and Alan Norrish, who are 84 and 87 respectively, have been regulars at The Buccaneer for around four years but when Alan was recently moved to a care home where wheelchairs are not provided, they faced the prospect of not being able to venture outdoors any more.

In an act of true goodwill, customers at the Compton Street pub rallied together and it wasn’t too long before enough had been donated to buy Alan a second-hand wheelchair.

General manager Steve Carthy said, “They have been coming in every morning for a cup of coffee, and then again in the afternoon for a glass of wine, so they are well-known and much-loved.

“As former runners who both represented their country, Betty and Alan are used to being active, so to have the option of a walk in the park or to the pub taken away was devastating

“When we heard about their difficulty we spoke to customers and it wasn’t long before they had donated enough money to buy Alan a second-hand wheelchair.

“Betty was in tears when we told her and it obviously means a lot to them that other people are thinking of them – it is no wonder though as they are such a lovely couple.

“Now Betty and Alan can get out and about again and we are looking forward to seeing them back in the pub when the weather improves.”

This isn’t the first time customers at The Buccaneer have helped a good cause. Over the past four years, more than £27,000 has been raised for Canine Partners, a charity that trains guide dogs.

Steve added, “Our customers never fail to amaze us with their generosity and we are always over the moon to be able to help out.”