December has been 'best for a decade' says Newcastle pub landlord

Drinkers are being urged to enjoy themselves sensibly this festive period. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A pub landlord has said this December has been the busiest he has seen in a decade.

Newcastle is set for a busy night on the last Friday before Christmas, dubbed by many as Mad Friday or Black Eye Friday.

According to Ollie Vaulkhard, owner of the Bridge Tavern on Newcastle's Quayside, it has been a bumper month so far.

He said: "It's been the best we've had in a decade. It's been really, really positive. When I speak to my colleagues in the city they have said the same thing. We're trading very well.

"It's a combination of factors; perhaps the football, perhaps the weather, perhaps just people wanting to be together and office parties. I don't know what it is but it has been a very, very good December."

While business owners are enjoying a busy festive period, people are being urged to enjoy themselves sensibly.

Stephen Patterson, chief executive of NE1, said: "We'll see about 150,000 people through the bars across tonight and tomorrow so it's a lot of people in a small space. Just be positive and be understanding and everyone will have a great time."

Emergency services have issued advice to help people enjoy their night, which is one of the busiest of the year for ambulance workers.

Stu Holliday, head of resilience at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), said: "Traditionally amongst a very busy winter period it is one of our busiest day. We can expect to see hundreds of calls in addition to what we would usually get."

NEAS has prepared by having extra front line staffing and extra resources on the road.

Mr Holliday added: "Have a good time but do it sensibly. Have a plan to get home, look after each others. Be careful of your surroundings when you're under the influence.

"If you need our services call 999 for life threatening emergencies. If its less than life threatening think about 111 and 111 online. Tomorrow when you're suffering the after effects think about GPs and pharmacies that are still open.

"Please have a good time but do it responsibly."

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