A LEGENDARY Black Country ale house will have to hire bouncers for the first time to enforce strict lockdown numbers when it reopens in July. 

Tim Newey, landlord of The Old Swan in Netherton – better know as Ma Pardoes – pulled his first pint in the pub when he was 18.

He and his business partner, chief brewery Paul Cooksey, are now waiting to hear what measures they will have to introduce as they plan to reopen.  

Speaking after Boris Johnson announced bars can reopen on July 4,  he said: “With the social distancing rules there is going to be a limit to the amount of customers we can have in the pub at any one time.

“That may mean having trained door supervisors on our three entrances checking the numbers coming and leaving.”

“We have older customers and we don’t have the problems some pubs have.

“So we never had  people on the doors before, and hiring them could increase our wage bill by up to £3,000 a week and unless we can increase sales that may not be viable. “

The pub has six rooms and staff will have to check no more than a set number of drinkers are in each at any given time.

Other changes could include no standing at bars with waitress service for costumes seated at tables. 

He says it is unlikely they will open on July 4,  waiting instead until Monday to ensure everything is ready before hitting the busy weekend period. 

Since March the business has lost more than £250,000 in sales to regulars and to other pubs they brew ales for.

He is concerned for his 33 full and part-time staff that he had to furlough.

In the meantime, the pub's famed Victorian interior is being spruced up ready for reopening the doors.

Tim adds: “During the lockdown no money has been coming over the bar but our rent still has to be paid. 

“When I started here the price of the first pint I pulled was 13 pence.

“People can get cheaper beer from off-licences and supermarkets but when you come to a pub you’re really paying for the atmosphere,  the socialising, meeting and joking with your friends.

“When I took over this pub I told the company who owned it we had to take it back to its past to move it forward and in a way we have to do that again

“It is going to be difficult with all the changes but we have to try and make it work for our customers and staff. ”