TAUNTON pubs have enjoyed a bumper few days with the promise of more rich takings in the coming days.

Licensed premises are cashing in on the World Cup, T20 cricket and the hot weather and, with a weekend of music coming up, things could get even better.

Venues have been bursting at the seams during the football, with fans turning out in force to support England’s march to the semi-finals.

Andi Sheehan, general manager at The Ring of Bells, in St James Street, said: “We were full up on Saturday for the England game (against Sweden).

“We changed the seating arrangements to cinema style viewing and we had some people on the window sills.

“Staff and regulars had been a bit concerned on Saturday morning ahead of the England game (against Sweden), but that turned to jubilation when we won.

“We had all members of staff in the day before for Somerset’s first T20 match of the season (against Gloucestershire).

“We were serving food all day, people were outside in the garden as well, where we opened the outside bar for the first time this year. We were busy from opening time until closing.

“We were busy again on Sunday for the match against Kent. We even had a group of guys down for a stag weekend who hired the upstairs room.

“We had record sales on Friday and Saturday. Everyone was well behaved. There was a great atmosphere. Fortunately we managed to avoid running out of drinks.”

Friday night’s derby T20 clash between Somerset and Gloucestershire proved to be the biggest night of the year so far at The Plough, in Station Road.

Landlady Willow Reed said: “We alway do well for that match. People were milling out into the street and we had a barbeque as well.

“We had record numbers over the three days - into the high hundreds overall, and everyone was well behaved.”

Licensed premises are gearing up for another busy session this evening as England play their semi-final against Croatia, with publicans keeping their fingers crossed for a Three Lions victory that would put them into Sunday’s World Cup final, while a programme of concerts run in Vivary Park from Friday until Sunday.