The Old House at Home, Milton

CHEERS Landlady Leanne Medley, landlord Steve Lant, and regular Dave Eastland. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122196-3)
CHEERS Landlady Leanne Medley, landlord Steve Lant, and regular Dave Eastland. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122196-3)
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When guitarist Jeff Kimber’s friend was diagnosed with leukaemia, he called upon the pub he performs at for support.

And The Old House at Home, in Locksway Road, Milton, has responded by arranging a day of live music and children’s games on Sunday, July 8 in aid of Leukaemia Care, a charity which supports people with the condition.

The fundraising event kicks off at midday when landlord Steve Lant cooks a barbecue and pizza for his guests. Entry is free.

Steve was eager to help Jeff out when he made the call two weeks ago because the guitarist is a member of All or Nothing, a covers band which plays at the pub.

During the event the five-piece group will perform with Portsmouth singer Dave Barrett – and both artists will give their fees to the worthy cause.

Steve, 34, who has been in charge of The Old House at Home with his fiancee Leanne Medley, 33, since May last year, said: ‘Jeff was keen to get something organised in aid of the charity as quickly as possible.

‘We made sure something was going to happen. It’s for a fantastic cause.

‘I was given even more of an incentive to get something sorted when I was told last weekend that a friend of my son Charlie, 11, had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

‘That really hit home how a life-threatening illness can affect someone so close to you.

‘All or Nothing told me they don’t mind how much money is raised on the day – every penny counts.

‘I hope we can raise as much money as possible though.

‘They’re one of my favourite bands and it’s going to be a privilege to have them perform again.’

The pub will continue its fundraising efforts in the coming months.

London singer Kelly Woods will perform on a stage as part of the pub’s Summer Sunday Festival on August 5.

Musician Matt Mcgowan, who has reached the finals of Live and Unsigned, the UK’s largest music competition for original unsigned acts, will also play at the event.

There will be face painting, a bouncy castle and a selection of real ales and ciders on offer.

Kelly will decide which charity the event will support.

Steve said: ‘We want to be the hub of the community.

‘It’s so important for pubs to branch out and to give people a reason to come through the doors.

‘You can’t just stand there and sell beer any more.

‘We’re constantly looking to improve on what we do here.’

MEET THE LANDLORD

LANDLORD Steve Lant ran a garage with his father Graham before he followed his dream of working in the pub trade.

Steve worked at Accident Repair Centre, in West Street Havant, for 16 years.

After his father retired Steve decided to run a business with his fiancee Leanne.

The pair searched high and low for the right pub to take over before they settled on The Old House at Home.

‘As soon as we walked into the place we knew it was the one,’ Steve said.

‘We both fell in love with it instantly. It’s right at the heart of the community.

‘I’ve always wanted to run my own pub. It seemed like the right thing to do because I’ve worked with customers for most of my working life.’

Since taking over the couple have rung the changes.

In a bid to draw in extra custom they have given the place a refurbishment and tidied up the outside grounds.

From July 2 the pub will offer customers a choice of traditional pub grub made by chef Duane Abbott, 24, who has just finished his training at Highbury College.

And all the ingredients will be sourced locally.

On the last Friday of every month the pub dishes up bacon rolls and hot drinks to a local carers group. It is also the club house for Southsea Nomads Rugby Football Club, which it sponsors.

Live music is provided every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and most acts are booked by local promoter Nick Courtney. Steve said: ‘I’m passionate about live music and we’re willing to give anyone a go.’