THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
An American pub manager in Norfolk has won the Community Mindfulness Award at the 2020 Great British Pub Awards. Marvin Tillman, originally from New Jersey, runs the White Horse pub in King's Lynn, and was given the award as part of the pub's community outreach during the Covid-19 lockdown.
During lockdown, Marvin and the pub worked hard to keep the local community together. Explaining the circumstances, Marvin said that "Lockdown was surprising. We knew it was coming, but the abruptness of it caught everybody off guard. The silence was kind of disturbing at first, it was too quiet in here! I thought, how can I use this to keep us present in people's minds, give them a way to connect with each other and just have a bit of fun?"
Marvin hosted regular online broadcasts each Friday, live streaming DJ sets and sing-a-longs, but he wasn't expecting the weekly broadcast to become as popular as it did. Embracing the community spirit, Marvin explains how even being a few minutes late to the show due to technical difficulties would see him receive messages from locals asking where he was! At its peak, the show was reaching over 1000 people from around the world. In a poignant moment, the show would close each week with a playing of Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again.
Marvin also donated food and items to the NHS, with supplies being sent to the critical care ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
We at The American salute Marvin and the White Horse Pub for showing some great American hospitality and community spirit at a challenging time in the UK.
To find out more about Marvin, check out his story at www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk/results. You can also watch a video interview via YouTube, and last but not least, you can find out about the White Horse run by Marvin at whitehorse-kingslynn.craftunionpubs.com