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10th July 2020

In It Together – Gary and Simon – Free Trade Inn, Sileby

Gary and Simon have been at the Free Trade Inn in Sileby for just over a year now. Celebrating their first year in lockdown was not what they had planned!

A party was planned with customers and friends to celebrate their 1st year anniversary and despite having to cancel Simon and Gary remain positive and plan to celebrate with their supportive community as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We had planned for a weeklong celebration” says Gary “with a beer festival, barbeques, a dog show with agility course, live comedy, a darts tournament and lots of live entertainment! The money raised from these events would have been donated to our charity of the year which is the Make A Wish Foundation.”

“Instead, we celebrated our first year by having a few quiet drinks together” says Simon “we also had a lot of messages from our regulars wishing us a happy anniversary which was nice to receive.

We are really looking forward to re-opening and seeing all our customers again, we will be opening on Monday 13th July with all safety measures in place. Our main concern was that our customers can enjoy our venue and feel safe to do so.”

Gary and Simon have settled into their new community and their customers love having them as part of the village, just look at the great comments on their Facebook page, it’s clear to see that this duo are doing a great job!

Gary has worked in pubs for over 20 years and Simon is a chef by trade and despite being closed for the last 3 months they look forward to re-opening the doors once again

From Monday the 13th July there will be a one-way system in and outside of the pub, with hand sanitiser stations on the entrance and exit and more sanitiser stations around the premises.

The pair have extended their outside area with new outside seating and gazebos and are in the process of setting up an app that their customers will be able to order drinks from, with table service available inside and outside. This will reduce the queues and reduce the through traffic within the pub. All tables have been measured out to comply with the governments social distancing rules and screens have been fitted to the bar.

Having the doors closed has not stopped this pair making sure they are there for their community! They have launched a weekly market in the car park which was so successful it had to close early on its first day as two stalls ran out of stock! The market invites local independent businesses to set up a stall and trade to the village whilst adhering to social distancing measures. They’ve welcomed cake stalls, burger vans, Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary, Grow your own Greens and Sileby Craft Group to name just a few. They received many a thankful and positive comment on their Facebook page including one from Michelle who said “was great to be able to walk down and get some bits thanks for arranging, looking forward to next week” and Yasmin who said “Was brilliant and great to have on our doorstep! Will be there next week”.

As well as the market, the pub is a donation and collection point for Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, an initiative instigated by Everards for any pub that could take part.

“As well as the market and charity drop, we have kept ourselves busy through the lockdown doing all the little jobs that we usually don’t get time for, like tidying up the outside areas, painting fences and sprucing up our smoking shelter. We have also created a new planted area to bring a bit of colour to our beer garden!” says Gary.

As Gary and Simon look forward to re-opening they have had the whole pub professionally deep cleaned and are following all of the guidance form the government on how best to open safely for them, their staff and their customers.

“It has been a strange three months but it’s time to welcome back our fantastic customers. We can’t fault Everards for the way they have conducted themselves though all this, the support from Richard, the chairman and our Business Relationship Manager, Matt, and every member of the team has been first class. We are now looking to the future and looking forward to re-opening, confident we have done all we can to keep everyone safe. Leaving us all to have a good time and get back to some kind of normal. The pub is such a huge part of people’s lives and we have loved getting to know our customers over the last year, it has been a great journey that we are looking forward to continuing. It’s been strange wondering round an empty pub, we are ready to welcome some friendly faces back!”

The Free Trade Inn is a well-established and well-loved pub in the heart of Sileby. Gary and Simon fell in love with the Free Trade as soon as they visited it for the first time and are so proud to call it theirs! They look forward to welcoming their customers back this July and will have a great food and drink menu for all to enjoy!

Follow the pubs social media page for up to date information on their re-opening and their offer. They hope to continue the pop up market also so if you are local, please pop along and support Gary, Simon and other local independent businesses:

Would you like to find out more about what’s involved in owning a pub business with us?

Join us at one of our virtual cuppa and chat events where we will be sharing what’s involved and answering any questions you may have.

Upcoming virtual cuppa and chat events:
Wednesday 19th August 2020 – Register now
Wednesday 9th September 2020 – Register now


  • Ends –

Notes to editor:


Zoe Alonso, Communications Co-ordinator; Mon-Wed

07850 941 426,

Kia Ryan, Communications Co-ordinator; Wed-Fri

07702 444 172,

About Everards:

Everards of Leicestershire is an independent, family business based in Leicestershire. Chairman, Richard Everard OBE DL is the fifth generation of his family to run the business since it was established by William Everard in 1849. Everards are proud to work with lots of local businesses and causes – from Leicester Tigers and Leicester Riders, for which Tiger is the Official Beer, to supporting local charities such as Warning Zone, Age UK and PROSTaid.


Tiger Copper Ale (4.2 per cent ABV) is Everards’ most famous beer and is the official beer of Leicester Tigers. On the bar alongside Tiger you will find Golden Hop (3.5 per cent ABV), Beacon Hill (3.8 per cent ABV), Sunchaser (4.0 per cent ABV) and Old Original (5.2 per cent ABV) available in many Everards pubs. In addition, an innovative range of Limited-Edition beers are released throughout the year. Recently the selection included beers such as Small Beer No.1, People’s Captain Short and Stout and Amber Ale No.1, alongside favourites such as Sleighbell and Tighthead.


Everards own more than 175 pubs across the Midlands, all run as independent businesses.

For further information please visit , search for ‘Everards’ on Facebook or find @Everards1849 on Twitter and Instagram.