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Our Story

In the midst of all the pandemic madness of 2020, an online community was created on Facebook called The Virtual Village, where people could find information, fun and expertise in lots of different areas!

.....and what does every village have?.........A Pub! 

So, on March 19th 2020, The Virtual Tavern was born. A safe space for people to escape their every day woes, meet like minded people and have some fun. 

Lots of people had felt the impact of lockdown, were feeling lonely, vulnerable and struggling with their Mental Health, and whilst no one could meet in person, The Virtual Tavern created a platform for people struggling to reach out and talk, make new friends and share a few giggles.

Our ethos is all about being kind and focussing on fun and positivity and so there are a few ground rules in the Main Tavern: no religion, football/sport, politics or Covid and certainly no swearing as the language is strictly PG. 

Next came the Virtual Tavern Singles Lounge, created on March 31st 2020. Not an official dating site, but a space for 'Singles to Mingle', to make friend and perhaps find their perfect tavern match.

August 30th 2020 saw the launch of The Virtual Tavern Rainbow Room, a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and friends. A place to hang out and meet like minded people and have a fabulous time. 

The Virtual Tavern Sports Bar was born on September 26th 2020. A place to champion your sport, discuss wins and losses and just have a good old time. 

September 27th 2020 saw the start of our newest project, which is still very much in it's prime. The Virtual Tavern Student Union Bar was created to help Students come together during the uncertain times to help them feel less isolated.

With Family Quiz nights, Karaoke, Themed nights, LIVE Singers, Bingo and much much more, there is always something for everyone.

 

Meet The Team

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Landlord & Founder of the Virtual Tavern

Neil Greenwood

Hi I'm Neil.

 

I live in a town called Oldham which is about 10 miles away from Manchester and its fantastic Canal Street.

I work as a freelance Sales Rep, supplying greeting card, giftwrap and gifts top the retail industry around the UK. I also run my own health and well-being business from home in my spare time. So, if you are in the market for great aloe vera-based skin care or well being products, give me a shout. 

I am single and live with my two dogs Bonnie & Bella. I love to cook and entertain friends etc and try to get away as many times as I can each year, as there is so many places I want to see.

 

I love the sense of community that our members have created in the Tavern and you can always rely on members to put a 'virtual arm' around anyone that is struggling or needs a chat.

 

I am proud to be part of the Tavern Team as have a great bunch of people who selflessly give up A LOT of their spare time just because they want to be a part of something that helps people. The Tavern is non stop 24/7, 7 days a week, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

 

Looking forward to what's in store next for The Tavern.

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Team Member & New Recruit

Wendy Beck

Hi, I'm Wendy.

 

I live in County Durham in the North East of England. I am also single.

 

I am a retired Head of Music and used to live and teach in Prague, Czech Republic. I retired due to disability and ill health, but I still love my music and play flute, saxophone and piano. 

In my spare time, I love to go to hear live music, watch movies and box sets and of course cheer on my beloved Newcastle United Football Club. 

 

I found The Virtual Tavern after seeing it featured on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, back in April 2021. After being an active member for a good 2 years, I was delighted to be asked to join the team in April 2023. 

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Team Member & Tavern Tour Manager

Adam Jak Richardson

Hi I’m Adam,

 

I live in Birmingham, England. Hometown of Ozzy Osbourne, Cadbury’s Chocolate, the Balti & Peaky Blinders.

 

By day I’m a local Councillor and former Mayor of my town. I used to work in Media Production, but never been on the TV....yet.

 

I have a passion for music, especially Musicals. I can usually be found in the Theatre, when skiving off from my shifts in the Tavern All things Sci-Fi & a good cocktail.

 

I’ve been in the Tavern now for over a year, popping into the other fabulous linked groups, and have been part of your team, serving as staff, for just over 8 months. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible, when we get the ‘Tavern On Tour’ on the road.

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Team Member & International Liaison

Brigitte Simoneau

Bonjour, I'm Brigitte.

 

I'm the one and only, (so far) French Canadian member of the Tavern admin team.

 

After being an executive secretary for almost 35 years, I retired in April of 2020.

 

Never married, still looking for the right woman, in the meantime it's just me and my dog. My hobbies are cooking, knitting and roadtrips.

 

I was invited to join the Virtual Tavern by a dear friend last year. I have been a proud member of the admin team since last November. I tend to take over the night shift, due the time differences. It’s lovely to meet you all.

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Team Member & Mother to us all

Carole Greenwood

Hi, I’m Carole.

 

I live in Oldham. I’m widowed and retired, but there’s still life in the old dog yet.

 

I don’t have many hobbies, but I do like a party and a good, old chin wag. If I am your friend, I’m a friend forever. I have known my best friend since we were five! I love flowers, so you will never be stuck for something to buy me.

 

I have 2 children, who are also my best friends. Neil is the eldest, and Kirsty is the youngest. I also love my furry grandchildren, Bella and Bonnie.

 

I love this group so much!! It’s kept me sane during the loneliness of the pandemic

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Team Member & Tavern IT & Web Support

Sarah Marshall

Hi, I'm Sarah.

 

I live in a town called Reddish, about 5 mile from the city centre of Manchester. I've lived in or around the Manchester area for most of my life.

 

I work in IT/Telecoms and have done so for many years. Not your typical environment for a woman, but I like to break the mould.

 

I am single, which is fine, as it means I have full control over the TV remote. In my spare time, I love watching crime dramas on TV and listening to all kinds of music. I have also recently completed both Level 1 and Level 2 in Mental Health Awareness.

 

I joined the Tavern as a regular member within the first week of it being launched in March 2020 and was soon invited to join the admin team. We have a fantastic team, who I am honoured to now call my friends. 

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Team Member, Crazy Dog Lady and part time Party Animal.

Jane McGann Mellor

Hi, I’m Jane.

 

live in Manchester, England.

Home of the computer, Oasis, a couple of well known football teams and Vimto.

I’m married and I have 3 beautiful girls. (The middle one is adopted. She has four legs and fur. )

I love chocolate, dogs, crocheting, rock music (although other music genres are fabulous too), the odd drinky poo and chocolate.

I found this marvellous group in March 2020, and have been a proud member of the Tavern Team ever since.

It has been a lifeline and a great support for so many, and I am incredibly humbled to be part of something so fabulous!

I literally love my fellow Teamlets (as Captain Neil calls us ) as they are just as nutty as I am!!

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Team Member & Matchmaker extraordinaire

Steph Braithwaite

Hi I’m Steph.

 

Mummy to a feisty 9 year old who keeps me on my toes. Endlessly single, but always ready to mingle.

 

I’ve lived in Oldham most of my life, apart from a few years over the wrong side of the border. I also stayed in Chamonix for six months, where I looked after rich people’s children, while they went off to ski.

 

I like music, the arts, theatre and nights out with the girls. I’m partial to the odd glass of champagne, not that the budget always allows, so I’m happy to roll with the Prosecco.

 

My main saviour in lockdown has been the Tavern Singles Lounge, which has given me some great new friends, support and laughs along the way. I’m now an admin in the Singles Lounge, so I can keep an eagle eye on the punters.

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