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
Landlord & Founder of the Virtual Tavern
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.
Team Member & Head of Costume Department
Hi, I’m Carla
I live in cheshire, England. Home of the salt mines
By day I am a professional child wrangler (Nursery Assistant), and I love it.
I love cats, dogs, and the odd drink here and there. I am also known for spontaneously getting into Fancy Dress from my ever increasing collection.
I love the outdoors and recently moved house, where there are practically a herd of cows in my back garden. But, I have my family of garden gnomes to keep watch for any invasion.
I found this fantastic group in March 2020 and have been a proud member of the Tavern Team for over 12 months now. Here's the the future.
Team Member & TikTok Specialist
Hi, I’m Justin, or answer to Jus, or J, or just simply Oi!
I live in a small town called Snaith, in East Yorkshire, England. I'm originally from Leeds and a proud Yorkshire man.
By day I am a HGV Class 1 driver, delivering Mercedes vehicles all over the UK, from vans to huge trucks.
I’m single with two gorgeous kids. My daughter is 21 and works in Australia as a Nanny. My son is 7 and excels at just being awesome.
I love my kids, gin, football, gin, music (literally listen to anything. My Spotify is bonkers) gin, movies (bit of a movie nerd) Yorkshire Tea and did I say gin?.. I found this awesome group in March 2020 and after a break away for a few months, I'm loving being back!
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.
By day I am a professional child wrangler (Dinner Lady/Midday Assistant) in a Primary School. And yes, I occasionally wear pink.
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!!
Team Member & International Liaison
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, but I have a 7 year old little girl. She has four legs and fur, but she's my world. My hobbies are knitting, cooking 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.
Team Member & Mother to us all
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
Team Member & Tavern IT & Web Support
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 am also currently studying Level 2 Mental Health Awareness, having completed the Level 1 course recently.
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.
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.
Team Member & Mr. Happy Go Lucky
Hi, I'm Simon.
I am 45, from Newport in South Wales and the Managing Director of a trailer and towbar centre.
I have four kids who keep me very busy with their hobbies; ie horses, football and rugby.
Myself, I am interested in most sports and have also spent a lot of my life either working on stage sets or being involved in live shows and Plays at local theatres.
I join the Virtual Tavern in March 2020 and like many others, it has helped me in so many ways. So becoming part of the Admin team and supporting others, like the Tavern did for me, was the least I could do.
Team Member & Matchmaker extraordinaire
Hi I’m Steph.
Mummy to a feisty 7 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.