“It was a long night and quite scary, but we made so many good friends and met so many lovely and kind people,” they said.
Around 40 people, including babies and toddlers, were stuck in East Sussex, England, during a blizzard and sought refuge inside a pub for the duration of the night on Sunday. For one of them, spending the night in the bar Bear Inn felt "biblical," but the owner of the bar has received praise online for providing assistance to those in need. Pauline Wilson runs the pub and was happy to ensure nobody was left out in the cold. "We filled all of our rooms, we have eight motel rooms. We then realized we couldn’t see people out in the cold so we stayed open all night serving teas, coffees, and hot chocolate, kept the fire going and kept the heating on and people just stayed on the floor and on chairs and couches," she said, reported Sussex Live. The curator of Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Dr. Alexandra Loske, uploaded a photo and tweeted that they were expelled from one bar before arriving at Bear Inn.
Stranded and snowed in near Burwash since 5pm, and we all got kicked out of the first pub. A 2-mile treck through the snow to The Bear Inn, which has taken in dozens of people and is staying open all night. Hot drinks, logfires, mattresses for children. Human kindness. @BBCSussex pic.twitter.com/jibHEfT97z— Dr Alexandra Loske (@Saschaloske) December 11, 2022
For those who were hungry, the landlady of the tavern set out large trays of chips, pigs in blankets, and roast potatoes. Many had to sleep on the floor since the eight hotel rooms in the bar were rapidly occupied by stranded truckers, but they were still able to make the best of the situation. while many pubs weren't feeling so generous, the Bear Inn opened its doors to anyone who wanted a hot meal or somewhere to spend the night. Wilson added, "We had some families here with a 6-month-old and a three-year-old so we put some blankets down on the floor for them and kind of just best we could really. There were three ladies in one room who didn't even know each other but they shared so they could get their heads down for a little while - they said they've got a lasting friendship from this now."
Even though Pauline made the decision to make the bar a safe place, she acknowledged that it took a team to pull it off: "Everyone was great, all of my staff are fantastic, it was all hands on deck to bring extra logs in, to push cars into the car park out of the snow for people who wanted to stay, and to bring the mattresses in and grab blankets and cushions from where we could. Everyone was great, everyone helped out." Pauline's 18- and 17-year-old boys, who were both helping out, moved cars off the village's slick roads and into the pub's more secure parking lot. The chef of the bar also had a major part to play in making sure everyone ate well during the whole ordeal.
Hier nun unser Schneesturmabenteuer im Sussex Weald auf Deutsch, beim #Stern @stern_panorama @sternde: #snow #snowuk #Sussexsnow #Schnee #England #Südengland https://t.co/kyTyUfpPn6 pic.twitter.com/jHBrhQ8kHY— Dr Alexandra Loske (@Saschaloske) December 14, 2022
Apparently, the Inn had people coming in from Somerset, Essex, Hastings, Bexhill, people from all over the place and all of them said they hadn’t eaten. "So my chef went in and he cooked some real hearty filling food and we gave them out to keep them happy. That’s what we’re here for. We are the center of the village, we like people to know that we are here to help them." Despite the fact that Pauline is not accustomed to doing it and that it is not something most people would aspire to do frequently, she acknowledged that she was willing to assist. " If we have to, we will", she replied without hesitation when asked if she would do it again.
Well, we are missing your programme tonight, @simon_schama, but the landlord/lady have just put out free hot food for everyone. Just wonderful. Many of sleeping on the floor tonight, but we are all happy. pic.twitter.com/Vku4O9ZS1G— Dr Alexandra Loske (@Saschaloske) December 11, 2022
Loske thanked the owner of the pub for keeping the babies warm. “Staff at the first pub did what they could without the owner present and helped keep the babies warm. But we were not able to speak to the owner and all had to leave, upset and scared. Focus should be on the kindness of The Bear Inn team. Grateful for all the help received last night,” Loske said in another tweet.