Pub offers walking frames to the legless

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The Independent Online
STANDING in the bar of the Red Lion at Liskeard, Cornwall, the row of gleaming conveyances is the answer to many a desperate drinker's prayer at closing time, writes Will Bennett. They come with reflectors to advertise their presence and bicycle bells to warn the unwary. Piloting them home, however unsteadily, does not appear to break the law.

The Zimmer, for years a welcome walking aid for the elderly or infirm, is coming to the rescue of those whose incapacity is both temporary and self-inflicted. Regulars at the pub can borrow the frames to steady their walk home after a long evening in the bar.

Chris Warden, landlord of the Red Lion, was left with 20 Zimmers by the owner of the property, who bought them as part of a job lot but never found a use for them. He said: 'I noticed them there but did nothing for several weeks, until one day I was talking to one of the customers out at the back of the pub. 'He said, 'What are you going to do with those?' and the idea came to me in a flash.'

The safety-conscious landlord fitted them out with bells and reflectors and now keeps several in the bar and a reserve stock out of sight, in case demand is brisk.

Mr Warden said: 'Be sloshed, be safe, be seen. That's my motto. We have got some serious drinkers in this pub and they think it's an absolute godsend. It's usually the locals living close to the pub who use them to get home.'

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