Coronavirus kindness: Pub delivers beer barrel to regular punter

By Sarah Lee
BBC News

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Image source, The Empress Pub
Image caption,
The Empress pub had to shut after Boris Johnson advised people to avoid social contact

A pub landlord who closed his doors to comply with social distancing measures has delivered a barrel of beer to one of his regulars.

Michael Buurman, owner of Hackney's Empress, didn't want 90-year-old Cyril to miss out on his favourite pint.

He said Cyril was "over the moon" with the gift, which included a box of crisps.

"I plan on going over to his - which we will rename Cyril's Arms - to have a pint," he said.

"But he will be inside and I'll be out on his doorstep.

"He comes to the pub every day and I just didn't want him to miss out. The barrel of beer expires in two months and it's not as if we will be open then," said Mr Buurman, who owns two other London pubs.

A picture of Cyril taking delivery of his barrel was posted on social media, where it received a lot of positive attention.

"This brought a tear to my eye", one comment said.

The Empress pub closed on Thursday to protect people like Cyril from becoming unwell, Mr Buurman added.

"A 75-year-old guy came in the pub on a mobility scooter and I just thought: you know, I can't do it.

"It's a death warrant.

"The pub was unusually busy these last few days and I just couldn't risk it. We have to keep people like Cyril safe."

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