The Cross Hands pub is situated in Fishponds, not far from the M32 in Bristol. It reopened in December 2010 after an extensive refurbishment and under new management.

The pub has an enclosed back garden and a large function room available to hire for a range of occasions. The room can comfortably seat 40-50 people, whilst up to 90 can be accommodated for a more informal type of gathering. The pub currently hosts a regular quiz night, Folk Around Fishponds and The F’ukes, a local ukulele group.

Stuart Harris, Manager of The Cross Hands explains:

 We’ve made a real effort over the last six to seven years to open our doors to local community groups.

“We have a great function space upstairs and there’s plenty of space in the main area of the pub downstairs to allow groups like Folk Around Fishponds and The F’ukes to come in on a regular basis to do their thing.

“There’s a real value to the pub as well, as it helps to create a great atmosphere and means we have more people in the pub on our traditionally quieter mid-week evenings. They all buy drinks and some members have a bite to eat too, which is great.”

Folk Around Fishponds (FAF) is an acoustic folk club run by live music enthusiasts. ‘Folk’ music can mean different things to different people, but FAF is a live acoustic music performing club with a foot firmly in the folk tradition. During an average evening, music played can range from traditional folk to blues, Americana, jazz, rock, pop covers, old favourites, humorous songs and more.  

The club meets at the pub on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 8pm. It’s a non-profit community group and the £2 door entry covers the cost of hiring the room. Any surplus from ticket sales is put back into the club for costs, to subsidise ticket prices at occasional special guest events or is donated to charity.

Tony O’Hare, who is part of the FAF committee, explains why they like meeting at the pub:

“We came back to The Cross Hands after it was refurbished about ten years ago, and one of the reasons is because of the beer! Decent beer was definitely one of the factors. More seriously, there’s a good sized function space which we hire at very favourable rates, and the staff are very supportive and welcoming which really helps.”

Another committee member, Grace Walsh adds:

“The affordability of hiring this space enables us to keep our entry fees low so hopefully everyone can afford to come, as we never turn anyone away. 

Our sessions are popular and we often have up to 30 people in attendance which has a positive impact on the bar takings, so it works well for us all.

Fishponds ukulele group, The F'ukes, meets weekly in the back space of the pub. Nicki Tonwsend, who attends regularly and is an unofficial cheerleader for The F’ukes, explains why meeting in The Cross Hands works so well for the group:

“After we outgrew our original meeting place at our local micro-pub, Snuffy Jack’s, we contacted The Cross Hands and spoke to the landlady, Elmira Walker who was very welcoming of the idea of us meeting there. We don't really have money to hire somewhere, so she offered to accommodate us in the back area of the pub for free. 

“The team at The Cross Hands are really welcoming and they never complain that we're upsetting the rest of the punters, in fact we've actually had people clapping us! They always reserve the space for us, which makes us feel welcome and it's big enough that you don't feel like you're upsetting people who are eating or anything like that. It's free which really helps and it’s accessible as we meet on the ground floor so there are no steps to deal with, which is great too.”

Picture of ukulele guitar and music sheets on table

You can find out more about The Cross Hands pub here and follow them on social media on Facebook and Twitter

For more information on Folk Around Fishponds, visit and follow them on and on

Find out more about The F’ukes and follow them on