More social events held in pubs

Pubs are increasingly being used for wedding receptions, anniversaries and wetting a baby's head, new research has shown.

A survey of 1,000 people for the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) also revealed that half had attended a wake, or had a date, in a pub.

Camra welcomed the trend and urged people to attend more events in pubs to help keep them open.

Chief executive Mike Benner said: "This new research shows how many communities rely on the pub to celebrate important landmarks in our lives from wetting the baby's head to toasting someone's life.

"With more local facilities like community halls closing, the British pub is for many the only facility the community can use.

"The new research does throw open the question - where would we be celebrating special occasions or meeting our future loved ones without the local pub?"

Camra said a "staggering" 26 pubs are closing every week as people visit their local less often.

The group is conducting research for different types of pub to see if more people can be encouraged to use them.

One in five of those surveyed had met their current partner in a pub while three out of four had attended a birthday celebration in a bar.