'It can be a lonely time of year': Nottingham boss defends decision to open pub on Christmas Day

Trent Navigation Inn
Trent Navigation Inn Credit: BPM Media

The boss of a pub chain in Nottingham which has opened its doors on Christmas Day for the past five years, says they are doing so again this year, to help anyone feeling lonely among the festivities.

The Trent Navigation Inn on Meadow Lane has faced criticism in the past from some for opening on Christmas Day while other venues remain closed, with some accusing it of exploiting staff to work today.

But those in charge say it can also be a very isolated time of year for those who are not with loved ones, and that staff want to help make a difference.

Tom Holodynsky, from the pub owners Great Northern Group:

"We got a few people being negative about it online in 2021 and we responded with our reasons for doing it, but our stance is still the same.

"A lot of people forget that the pub is a community hub for a lot of people and it is not just groups of people that come into the pub.

"People may have lost friends or family or be lonely and want to come in to enjoy the sense of community in the pub and the Trent Navigation, in our estate of pubs, is the one where we emphasise that the most.

"The people who criticise it tend to be people who don't really understand what pubs are for and think it is just everyone getting trolleyed 12 hours a day, and it is just not like that.

"We have to bear in mind that as joyous as Christmas is, there are a lot of people who find it incredibly lonely and we should be looking out for them - Christmas Day should be for everyone."

Mr Holodynsky also said staff were not forced to work on Christmas Day, and that other employees from other Great Northern Group venues had wanted to work the day. He said:

"Somebody said we were out of order for making staff work on Christmas, but staff quite often want to do it and we don't ask anyone to do it if they don't want to.

"What we've actually found is that staff have asked if they can work here on Christmas if they're from out of Nottingham and are working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and want to be a part of it."

If you've been affected by the issues in this article, you can find support links to groups that can offer help and support.