Fundraising year begins at William IV pub in Hampstead

Landlord Jimmy McGrath joins customers for a pint inside King William IV in Hampstead High Street. P

Landlord Jimmy McGrath joins customers for a pint inside King William IV in Hampstead High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

 A Hampstead pub is hosting the first of its 12 fundraisers following "scaled back activities" during the pandemic.

The King William IV in Hampstead High Street is hosting a free charity fundraising event on January 29 for Pentameters Theatre, in neighbouring Heath Street.

Running from 8pm until midnight there will be a prize tombola, artwork auction, karaoke and disco. 

The pub has been hosting fundraising activities for five years but next Saturday evening is a welcome return to them following several lockdowns over the last two years.

John Graham, who runs the charitable evenings, said: "Unfortunately, we had to considerably scale-back these activities during the recent three pandemic lockdowns and now just hope that we’ll be able to run our planned twelve fundraising events throughout 2022.

"These events take the form of customer-participation music-themed nights with a prize tombola and an auction, mainly of artwork which always proves very popular."

Entertainment ranges from piano sing-along, drag cabaret, disco and karaoke.

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In December the pub held an Aids Awareness evening and John said: "We raised £1,200 in just over three hours. Not bad for a little pub like ours."

The pub, the last of four remaining in Hampstead High Street, is privately-owned by Jimmy McGrath and managed by Marija Skauminaite.

"It's very much community focused, hence the large number of charitable events we organise," John added.

In addition to charity fundraising events, live entertainment plays an important part of the pub, with events four nights every week.

"On Mondays, it’s Whiskey Mick and Friends, a traditional Irish session band with between three to seven players.

"Thursdays are our traditional piano sing-along nights, hosted by Luke Meredith whilst Fridays host cover version trio Bad Dogs Bite.

"Sunday rounds-up the week with Barry Ewart’s Brainstorming Quiz.

"We have a small team of customers who volunteer their time, without whom these events, on such a scale, wouldn’t be able to go ahead.

"Since I’m now retired, living alongside the pub means I’ve plenty of time on my hands to plan, co-ordinate and liaise with all involved.

"We've only just got back into the flow of things so hopefully this year there are will be no more lockdowns."