Party atmosphere at Kettering pub's Brexit bash

Punters joined in 'Brexit Day' celebrations

By Sam Wildman and Alison Bagley
Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:21 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:30 pm

About 200 people packed into a Kettering pub this afternoon (Friday) to celebrate the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

There was a party atmosphere inside the Rising Sun in Silver Street with an old-fashioned cockney knees-up ahead of the country's official withdrawal at 11pm tonight.

Union flag bunting was draped across the watering hole, which only re-opened in November, and it was a double celebration for manager Dave Cooper as he marked his birthday.

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He said: "It's been electric here today. Everyone is happy and having a great time. We've even got a Remainer who is here and has accepted that we are out.

"The pub really has got the feel-good factor today. We all know this is the start of Brexit and it's finally happening after three years."

Kettering man Steve Cook, 52, took a day off work to join the celebrations.

He said: "At the end of the day we needed Brexit for our own independence and it's been a long time coming.

The red, white and blue of the union flag covered the pub.

"Joining was probably one of the worst things we ever did."

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Kettering Brexit celebrations picture special

BBC News are reporting live from the pub today with radio stations and even a Dutch TV crew in town to capture the action.

Kevin Moss, 69 and Kettering, said: "I was fed up of being told what to do by unelected Europeans.

Pub manager Dave Cooper (left) with Richard Hughes from Northampton.

"We have been the first [to leave] but we won't be the last. We've got a really good future.

"The first one who came out of Take That was the one who made all the money."

There was a familiar face behind the bar as Kettering's MP Philip Hollobone, who was re-elected with a whopping majority in December, turned up to pull a few pints in his union flag jacket.

He praised Mr Cooper for putting on such a "fantastic" party and said he would be personally toasting Brexit at 11pm.

He said: "It's such an important day for so many people in Kettering.

"Let's not forget that at the EU referendum a massive 76 per cent of people turned out and 61 per cent of Kettering voters voted to leave but it's taken until now to drive home the message to all the Remainers that people really meant it."

Local band Bread 'n' Drippin' provided entertainment with many joining in the dancing as the party started.

Among them was Northampton man Daniel Dimmer, 43, who wore a union flag hat and waistcoat as he danced with a Remainer.

He said: "The atmosphere is fantastic. Six months ago no, I didn't think this would happen.

"There was a lot of scaremongering due to the economy going down after Brexit, but it looks like we have got quite a prosperous future."

Kettering man Alan Meeson, 71, sat supping a drink and soaking in the atmosphere wearing his union flag hat.

He said: "It's been brilliant, we are going back to our old roots.

"I just think we can do it on our own. Since Boris Johnson has been in he has got it done."

Angela Walters, 77, travelled from Northampton especially for the party and had a front-row seat for the entertainment.

She said: "The country lost its self-respect. After the last three years I am amazed that Brexit's happening."