Kettering pub celebrates Brexit with anniversary bash

Punters turned out to mark the two-year anniversary of 'Brexit Day'

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 31st January 2022, 3:14 pm

Brexit supporters filled a Kettering town centre pub today to mark the two-year anniversary of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

The busy Rising Sun in Silver Street was decorated with bunting as those who voted to leave celebrated 'Brexit Day' (January 31, 2020).

Punters and staff wore Union flag clothing and joined in a 'knees-up' with entertainment from local band Bread 'n' Drippin'.

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Val and Michael Bouher enjoy the party.

It's been far from plain sailing since the nation voted to leave the EU in 2016, with an impact on trade and several issues yet to be resolved - but every person the Northants Telegraph spoke to at the party said they would vote the same way if there was another referendum.

Damian Freeman was enjoying a drink while wearing a 'Peter Wright' style multi-coloured mohican wig.

He works as a welder and said he has seen costs rise because of Brexit, but that it hadn't changed his view on his vote.

He said: "I am British and I love my country. Before this I never used to vote but this vote was important."

Rising Sun staff celebrate the anniversary of Brexit

Sitting nearby was Jake Woodcock from Style Empire salon, who added: "We need to be able to stand on our own two feet."

Bernie White, 73, voted to leave in 2016 and said it's been a work in progress.

He said: "They cannot sort out Northern Ireland or fishing. I don't think they are going to ever let us go."

Pub landlord Dave Cooper, who is also celebrating his birthday today, said he was delighted by the turnout for a Monday lunchtime with almost every seat taken. He had wanted to host a bash last year but pubs were shut because of Covid restrictions.

Jake Woodcock (left) and Bernie White celebrate.

He said it was too soon to say whether Brexit had been a success because of the pandemic and restrictions, which started just weeks after 2020's party.

When asked how long the nation should wait to see the 'Brexit dividend', he said: "How long is a piece of string? There are pros and cons for everything.

"But we are better off as a single nation. Why should we be told by Brussels what we can and can't do?"

Sixty-one per cent of those went to the polls in Kettering voted to leave in 2016. Only Wellingborough (62.4 per cent) and Corby (64.2 per cent) saw a higher vote share for Brexit in Northamptonshire.

Punters celebrated with an old-fashioned 'knees-up'

Another Kettering resident who voted for Brexit was Wayne Morgan, 53, known locally as 'Brexit Wayne'.

He went viral for all the wrong reasons after a live interview with BBC News at the 2020 party and returned to the pub for a drink today.

And he stood by his decision to vote to leave. He said: "We were in for 40-odd years and we never achieved anything."

Husband and wife Michael and Val Bouher had a front row seat for the day's entertainment, wearing full Union flag outfits and hats.

They said they could not see any negatives to Brexit so far.

Val said: "Boris (Johnson) has done everything he said he would do."

Rising Sun Brexit celebrations.

And Michael added: "It will be our grandchildren who in the end will appreciate what has happened."

Brexit celebrations will continue at the pub throughout the day with entertainment from Dr Busker tonight.