Pub plans to make tobacco history

A 17th century pub near where Sir Walter Raleigh is rumoured to have first smoked a pipe of tobacco is to run a stop-smoking course.

The Long Arms in South Wraxall near Bradford-on-Avon, in Wiltshire, is just two fields away from South Wraxall Manor, where legend has it tobacco was smoked for the first time in England.

Landlady Jacqui Price, who has run the pub with her husband Bob for the past four years, is signing up to the sessions along with head chef Dan Hinds. The scheme will be run for customers in the autumn.

Sir Walter is said to have been the first to bring tobacco to Britain from the New World in the late 16th century, and a maid at South Wraxall Manor reputedly doused him in water after thinking he was on fire as he puffed away on his pipe.

But The Long Arms has been badly hit by the nationwide smoking ban, introduced in England in July 2007, and is now also suffering as a result of the credit crunch.

Mrs Price said she has lost a lot of regulars since the ban, and is even considering having to open later in the evening if she can’t find a way to tempt them back into the pub.

Mrs Price, who smokes 20 a day, said: “It’s ironic that we are running a stop smoking course somewhere so closely associated with the start of smoking in this country.

“We hope a place on the course might be a nice present for somebody. Giving up smoking is hard enough, so it would be great if people were able to enjoy themselves and have a drink while they’re doing it.

“We don’t want to alienate the smokers, it’s really sad that since the smoking ban they’ve been forced to stand outside in the rain.”

Mrs Price is employing the services of Tessa Kirby, an expert in hypnosis and mind training techniques, to run the course.

source: hostednews

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