New Preston publicans unable to launch carvery due to fire decide to feed emergency workers for free

Posted on - 20th May, 2022 - 2:28pm | Author - | Posted in - Lancashire Police, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Proud Preston
Emergency workers at The Wellington
Emergency workers had worked tirelessly throughout the night

A Preston city centre pub is feeding emergency workers dealing with the fire at the former nightclub in Church Street.


Nicola Suggate and Niamh Clarke, both from Ribbleton, took over The Wellington Inn in Glovers Court two weeks ago.

They should have been launching a new carvery today, but the fire and associated road closures mean the pub won’t be able to open again until Monday.

Read more: People asked to avoid Preston city centre as firefighting continues at former nightclub

“We had all the fresh meats and veg,” said Nicola, “So we thought, let’s feed the workers as they have been working tirelessly throughout the night.”

The Welly was evacuated due to the fire, but Nicola and Naimh were allowed back in during the early hours of Friday after the building was thankfully deemed structurally safe.

Along with chef Jim O’Connor, from Whitestake, Nicola and Niamh later welcomed police officers, firefighters, gas workers and more into the pub.

Nicola Suggate, Jim O'Connor and Niamh Clarke
Nicola, Jim and Niamh wanted to help make a bad situation a little better

Nicola said: “We are just trying to make a bad situation a little better. Seeing how the emergency services worked overnight made us want to help in some way.

“We decided to get up at 6am and prep, and told all the workers to ‘come fill your belly at the Welly’.

“Seeing all the empty plates and happy faces really overwhelmed us.”

Emergency workers at The Wellington
Nicola said: “Seeing all the happy faces really overwhelmed us.”

While working together at the Hesketh Arms in New Hall Lane four years ago, Nicola and Niamh hatched a plan to one day have their own pub. Now their dream has become a reality they have hopes to become a big part of the community.

Nicola added: “We love the industry and the special characters that we meet.

“We have plans for Jubilee weekend with a saxophone player and DJ giving Ibiza vibes in our beautiful beer garden.

“We also want to arrange an evening once or twice a month for adults with special needs such as autism.”

Read more: Stories from Proud Preston

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