Pub is cleared out to prepare for its community refurb

Martin Wilkes, project director, where the pub bar had been placed for many years '' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14239-9282)
Martin Wilkes, project director, where the pub bar had been placed for many years '' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14239-9282)

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MORE than 100 villagers ripped up floorboards, lugged and heaved old furniture out, and stripped walls in an enormous effort to transform an old pub.

The Fox and Hounds, in School Lane, now belongs to the people of Denmead who raised enough money to buy it to stop it being turned into houses.

On Saturday, following a rallying call from the director Rob Stark, scores of people turned up ready to lend a hand and completely clear the pub ready for renovation work.

Those who couldn’t do the heavy work made cakes and served tea. Lots of old furniture had to be removed, trees were pruned, and leaks were plugged.

The man in charge was volunteer project manager Martin Wilkes.

He said: ‘The amount of people who turned up, ready to roll their sleeves up and get working is absolutely brilliant.

‘It’s a huge example of community spirit.

‘Everyone has lent a hand and done a superb job – right from clearing out old bric-a-brac to ripping the floors up where they’ve gone rotten.’

The renovation work is expected to be finished ready to open the pub in early summer.

Julie Colley, 47, of Lower Crabbick Lane, spent the day on her hands pulling up carpet grippers. She said: ‘The jobs weren’t allocated, we just went in and had a look round to see what jobs needed doing.

‘We wanted to show our support for the pub.’

In total £550,000 needs to be raised to pay off the £300,000 loan to buy the pub and a complete refurbishment.

If you would like to buy a share in the pub you should receive up to three per cent interest on the investment.

Investors will also receive voting rights at general meetings, as well as other benefits.

The share offer is being run by local community finance organisation Parity Trust.

For more information about the share offer go to paritytrust.org.uk.