Derby engineering firm helps pub say ‘cheers’ to a brighter future

Landlord, Alan Pickersgill with Joe Asher who is commercial and technical engineer at Acres

A Derby pub has been given a helping hand at the bar as it prepares for the gradual lifting of lockdown, after a local engineering firm provided them with bar-top separation screens.

The popular Brunswick Inn on the city’s Railway Terrace wanted a solution in place as soon as possible that allowed staff to feel both safe and comfortable, especially in the warmer months ahead.

Answering the call, Melbourne-based Acres Engineering stepped forward, designing and manufacturing a solution that allows staff to move around freely and alleviate the need to wear PPE all day.

The Brunswick Inn, which is at the apex of what is known as the “Railway Triangle”, was built in 1841 by the North Midland Railway Company, along with 80 cottages and a local store.

It is owned by Everards and run by Alan Pickersgill and Phllippe Laroche. Last year it was named Best For Cide’ at the Great British Pub Awards and in recent years it was named the Derby Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Pub of the Year for 2017 and 2016.

Pickersgill said: “We wanted to get protective screens for our bar area to help boost the confidence of our staff returning to work as we want to make sure they are not only kept safe but actually feel safe too.

“We also didn’t want anything obtrusive that might make the bar area look austere and I’m pleased to say that with these panels from Acres that isn’t the case. I am very happy with the results and will be recommending this solution to other publicans.”

Luke Parker is the managing director of Acres Engineering, the firm that recently produced a foot-operated door handle, the ‘Footle’, which avoids the risk of infection by reducing contact with door handles, providing a germ free option when accessing areas with ‘pull doors’.

He added: “We have a very highly skilled workforce of engineers and a lot of very creative people here at Acres and we have all been working on solutions that we hope will help our local community and the wider economy.

“The ‘Footle’ has been very popular and we’ve actually been giving these away here in Melbourne but we knew that there is a huge challenge for the pubs and restaurants and we wanted to do something about that too. Hopefully this will help Alan and Philippe get ahead of the game for when they can start to welcome people back to their fantastic pub.”