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Villagers in Horton Kirby and Swanley Village can enjoy a pint as they vote

PUBLISHED: 10:17 05 May 2011

Chris and Vanessa at Horton Kirby

Chris and Vanessa at Horton Kirby

Archant

»Voters in two quiet villages can mark a cross by their favourite candidate, while taking a tipple today, as a pair of pubs double up as polling stations.

Landlords Chris and Vanessa Maskery of The Fighting Cocks, Horton Kirby and Margaret and Raymond McCarthy of The Lamb Inn, Swanley Village, have agreed to allow their businesses to become polling stations for the day in the Sevenoaks District Council elections and the national referendum on the Alternative Vote.

The Maskerys took over the Fighting Cocks — last year named Best Leased Pub in Britain — 18 months ago and welcomed more than 800 voters for last year’s General Election when it was again used as a polling station.

“We try to put ourselves at the heart of the community, the village has no hall, so it is great we can do our bit,” said Mr Maskery.

The pair will endure a long day though. “As a pub we won’t be upstairs until after midnight on Wednesday and then it will be up before 6am to get ready and welcome the electoral officers to set up,” he said.

The McCarthys took over The Lamb three years ago.

Mrs McCarthy added: “It is quite strange but it is also good fun. There are not many people who can vote where they live and work. We could be the first to vote in the country”

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