One of Britain’s first ‘Super Saturday’ drinkers said he’s been eagerly awaiting the first sip of booze in a pub – and even set a 5.15am alarm today.
Martin Sherrell, 63, pitched up at a Wetherspoons in Bristol at 8am and wolfed down a breakfast – before ordering alcohol as allowed at 9am.
He said he usually visits The Commercial Rooms but, as it was shut, was forced to relocate to The Berkeley with his two friends.
Martin added that the trio were the only people in the pub when it opened – although staff said they were expecting many more later.
He ordered a bottle of Magners cider – and said that he would be enjoying a few more as the day wore on.
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Martin said: “I had an early night last night in preparation. I set the alarm for 6am – but I was up at 5:15am.
“I’ve barely slept since I heard the Prime Minister’s announcement that pubs could open.
“I was joking that I would have camped outside if it wasn’t raining!
“Me and my mates usually meet a couple of times a week, but we haven’t been to a Wetherspoons since March. We’ve been drinking there for years.
“There was just the three of us and three workers when it opened. I think they’re expecting more later.
“I’m being sensible about it though. We all are. I’m a full-time carer for my mum. I’ve got a mask with me.
“I’ve had a nice bottle of Magners cider – I do like them. I’ll have a couple more.”
In Birmingham, Ben Clark and his two pals, Curtis and Connor, were waiting for The Briar Rose to welcome back punters from 7am.
The Geordie trio, covered in dust following a night shift working away on a building site in the city, were ‘watching’ the pubs since 4am, eager to get their hands on the first pint since lockdown.
The Newcastle lads spoke to our reporter Graham Young as they waited for a ‘well-deserved’ San Miguel and English breakfast from the Bennett’s Hill boozer.
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Mr Clark said: “We’ve just finished night shifts, I’ve been watching the pubs since 4am this morning, when we came and reserved our tables ready for the pub opening ready for a pint of San Miguel and a breakfast.
“I’m a big fan of Wetherspoons have been waiting for it since the first day of lockdown.”
Standing on socially-distanced markers dotted on the pavement, the workers can be seen saluting as they wait for the doors to fly back open.
Three more then joined the queue as a staff member for the Briar Rose opened both doors and welcomed in the long-awaited custom.
The pub is one of the first to open in the city centre – along with The Wetherspoon The Square Peg over on Corporation Street.
The giant JD Wetherspoon previously revealed it will be slashing capacity to less than a quarter as it reopens today.
The boozer is so long it can hold the incredible number of 930 people at once in normal times.
But with one metre social distancing now essential, its regular capacity for the foreseeable future is going to be cut to 250.
In order to enable staff to get used to their new ways of working, that number has been trimmed even further to just 200 as the weekend began at 8am.
And regulars have also returned for much-anticipated drinks at the Toll Gate Wetherspoons pub in Turnpike Lane, north London.
Andrew Slawinski, 54, who bought a Guinness, described his first pub pint in three months as “gorgeous”.
“It’s like winning the [Premier] League,” he said.
A range of measures have been implemented at the pub including contact tracing forms, Perspex screens and compulsory table service.