THE owner of a Tyne Valley pub offering takeaway beer has urged punters to respect lockdown rules.

The Boathouse pub in Wylam has been selling beer and hot food to take away since lockdown measures came into place.

But the relaxing of the rules last week has seen an increase in the number of customers, which has led to complaints.

Manager Mark Weatherburn said he was doing all he could to keep the business open.

Signs are in place and customers are asked to leave the premises once they have paid for their order – but people not obeying the rules have led to three complaints to Northumberland County Council.

Mark fears a license review could be enforced.

He said: “It’s the volume of people. Lots of people are coming to the pub for a takeaway.

“If we closed altogether, people would have something to say.

“I’m putting a barrier system in place and blocking off the areas where people can sit.

“Wylam is getting bombarded with people, there’s people coming from Sunderland, Washington, Blaydon – all over.”

Despite the complaints, Mark thinks his new business model has been a success.

He continued: “Most of the people in the village are behind us. We’ve been selling a lot of beer.

“As soon as I heard we were going into lockdown I got prepared and reinvented the business.”

Elsewhere, the landlord of the Boatside Inn in Warden has also issued a plea to vistors.

Matt Cawood took to social media to ask people not to use the pub’s much-loved beer garden as a family picnic area.

He said: “I feel a sense of responsibility to the neighbours. Warden and the surrounding area has a high population of older and more vulnerable people. We want them to enjoy the area. I just want to discourage people from using the facilities.

“Footfall around the Tyne Valley has increased massively.”