A bit of hard work and determination brings old local back to life

REGULARS Lee Harvey and Corina Goddard at the Barley Mow in Gosport.     Picture: Steve Reid (112225-910)
REGULARS Lee Harvey and Corina Goddard at the Barley Mow in Gosport. Picture: Steve Reid (112225-910)
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Determination and a bit of elbow grease is all it took to give this pub back to its community.

In just three years, ambitious landlady Tracie Martin has taken the Barley Mow in Gosport from total ruin to a thriving community pub.

It had fallen on hard times before the previous owners eventually closed it and moved on. But now the pub, in Ann’s Hill Road, is back to the bustling local it used to be.

Tracie, 41, said: ‘I took over the pub in 2007 and it was very run down and had a bad reputation. It was closed and dilapidated and we spent about eight or nine weeks refurbishing it.

‘All of the regulars who used to use the pub before it got a bad reputation had long gone.

‘But we’ve got them back and we get people now who came here with their family when they were 12.’

The Barley Mow was built in 1863 and was one of the first buildings in Ann’s Hill Road.

Unusually, the pub now has its own scooter club called the Two Stroke Sniffers and organises regular rides out.

It also sponsors a motor racing team as well as catering for more traditional games of darts, pool and poker.

Tracie said: ‘It’s a traditional pub but it’s also got a modern twist. We’ve updated and redecorated the place so it’s got a modern feel.

‘But we do traditional things like live music at the weekends and pool tournaments.

‘We’ve even got our own Facebook page with hundreds of people which isn’t something I’ve seen many other pubs round here doing yet.’

And the pub itself is not the only thing worth its own fan site. Buster, the Barley Mow’s resident German Shepherd, is so popular he has his own online appreciation society.

Tracie added: ‘Buster is a comical character; people often come here just to see him.

‘Our defining feature is the atmosphere here. It’s an extremely friendly place and that’s how I wanted it to be.

‘When I moved here I couldn’t find anywhere I wanted to sit down and have a drink in.

‘There was nowhere for me to sit with a glass of wine and read a book – so I made one.

‘It took a good year and a half before we really got going and the regulars from way back started returning.’

The Barley Mow serves an ever-changing rota of guest ales.

Regular Kyle Talbot, 20, of Harcourt Road, Gosport, said: ‘The atmosphere here is one of the best things about the place.

‘When I walked in for the first time, people started talking to me. It’s really friendly. I play pool here now and I love it. When you walk in it doesn’t feel like you’ve walked into some clique.’