WITH the festive season well and truly here, a Stroud pub is preparing for the return of a Christmas tradition with a difference.

The team at the Prince Albert in Rodborough will be welcoming back their Unusual Carol Singers for the 21st year.

In a bumper edition of the popular annual event, the pub has been granted a road closure for the top of Walkley Hill, to be able to gather even more people in a Covid secure way to join in the free festivities between 12noon and 3pm on Sunday, December 12.

Starting out in 2000, a small group of the Prince Albert regulars ‘drinkers with a singing problem’ started up the Prince Albert Carol Consortium (PACC) to bring carols with a difference, to the singing and drinking enthusiasts of Rodborough.

Albert landlady Lotte Lyster Connolly said: "These unusual carols are not well-known because they were kicked out of the churches by the Victorian clergy who considered them too jolly to be properly reverent.

"The group has been singing these exuberant tunes with robust words to match every Christmas in the Albert, except during the last lockdown year, for the past 21 years.

"There's no official members – it is whoever turns up on the day and is truly for everyone.

"Growing in attendance and popularity over the past two decades, no singing experience is necessary and all are welcome, from those who are keen to sing at the top of their lungs, to those who might just fancy grabbing a mulled wine and joining in for the odd chorus or two.

"We look forward to the Unusual Carols event every year, and are so pleased that with the road closure, a way to host the day has been found allowing everyone to be safe and belt the songs out with the revellers singing in the road.

"Knowing that there will be space for all to come, to see each other and sing together, but also to keep their distances with the new variant on the march, makes us very happy and well prepared.

"This is always such a friendly event and the whole community loves it, from the families that come every year to the dog walkers walking by and stumbling across us."

Song sheets are available on the day and music scores are available online http://www.albertcarols.uk

In addition to the singing celebrations The Prince Albert will be offering stone baked pizzas from their outdoor oven, mulled wine, an indoor fire, plus sustainable, local Christmas trees for sale.

There will also be a panto for all the family at 3.30pm from Robbie Humphries (won the Stroud Song Contest earlier in the year) which he originally performed in the pub in 2019.

Everyone welcome.