Mr Pickwick, Milton

MUCH LOVED Mr Pickwick pub in Milton
MUCH LOVED Mr Pickwick pub in Milton
Charles Manson in 2014. Picture: WikiCommons

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Customers loved their local so much that they stepped in to save it when its owners went bust.

The future of Mr Pickwick, in Milton Road, Milton, looked bleak after brewery GRS Inns went into liquidation.

But locals rallied behind the Victorian pub, named after a famous Charles Dickens character, in a bid to stop it closing.

They raided their own drinks cupboards and bought kegs of beer.

The pub sold off their purchases and sales kept it afloat until new owners were found.

Two years on a new brewery has stepped in and a new manager is behind the pumps at the popular local.

It is the first time Anita Dickerson, of Carisbrooke Road, Southsea, has managed a pub.

The 41-year-old worked as a barmaid in Mr Pickwick during its times of uncertainty.

She said: ‘I’ve been through thick and thin here, but I love it.

‘The locals are the heart of this pub. They’re devoted.

‘We’re all friends and we all socialise together outside of the pub.

‘The place has really got back on its feet. All the worries are behind us now.

‘It’s one of those places where you can sit and have a beer by yourself or if you fancy a chat there will be people you can go to.’

Anita has been ringing the chances since she took over.

Before the pub didn’t serve food but now Anita and her team of three barmaids dish up chicken and chips, scampi, sausages and burgers.

She said: ‘The response has been really good so far. I just want to build the place back up and get it thriving again. I’m looking to put up posters which advertise we do food in the area soon.’

She is also looking to build on the pub’s previous charitable efforts.

Early last year regulars and staff put on a five-a-side football match to raise funds for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.

‘Some of the locals went to school with Tom so they’ve asked me if the pub could do more for the cause. It’s great that they want to see the place move forward.’