The Hammer and Pincers is a pub with casual dining, an events venue and a touring caravan and campsite.
The countryside venue has a traditional and contemporary style with a regularly changing menu of fresh home cooked meals and a large selection of bar drinks.
The Hammer and Pincers is located just two miles from Aycliffe Business Park on Preston Lane – take the turning to Great Stainton at The Gretna and follow the road for one mile, the pub is on the left.
Owned for the past three years by husband-and-wife Peter and Rachel Walton, and Rachel’s brother Neil Skinner, each business partner brings different strengths to the business.
Neil runs the busy kitchen, Rachel takes care of front-of-house and the co-ordination of events, Peter provides practical support by maintaining the facilities and has created the recently opened caravan and camping site.
As it is well known that pubs in general are struggling to survive, the past three years have been all about diversifying and growing the business. The goal of this family team is to ensure the long-term survival of the pub.
Rachel says: “I feel very lucky to be able to work alongside my husband and brother, we all have the same work ethic and general expectations to what we would like to achieve and what input this business needs to survive.
“We have a great team of hardworking, friendly staff who are essential to the business’s success.
“Over the last three years we have gained a touring caravan and camping site license, we have become an approved venue for holding civil marriage ceremonies and we hold a license to hold 20 outdoor events every year.
“Our events can take place in one of our function rooms in the pub or in our beautiful giant Nordic Tipis. We host many different types of events including baby showers and christenings, birthdays and anniversaries, wedding ceremonies and receptions, festivals and funeral receptions.”
Rachel says future plans include general improvements across the whole site and the development of Neil’s home-made chutneys, preserves and jams which are currently available to buy in the pub.
She adds: “One of our upcoming events is our annual Forge ‘Family’ Festival which this year is being held on Saturday and Sunday May 4/5 from 1pm.
“We will have real ale in abundance, craft cider and lots of different Gins to try. A Hog Roast to feast on and children will be able to come and learn some new circus skills with Clowns Dot and Zooky, have their faces painted and get stuck into activities in our kid’s craft tent. We also have lots of great local bands playing both days, it’s going to be a great weekend.”