Fareham landlord says he's off after seven years at the helm of popular community pubÂ
HE'S won awards for his work as pub landlord, raised thousands for community projects and charities and brought new life back to a Fareham pub but now Martin Munns is taking a step away from the bar.Â
Martin, who has run The Fareham, in Trinity Street,Â since September 2011 has announced that he and his wife DianeÂ will be moving on to new pastures early next year.Â
The 53-year-old has taken over The Old Castle Hotel in Weymouth and the couple will be moving on to focus on their new venture soon.Â
Martin, who also spent 30 years in the Royal Navy, posted on the news on the pub's Facebook page.Â
He said:Â '˜Some of you may haveÂ heard already but with a heavy heart myself and Diane have decided to leave the Fareham Pub early next year, to take up a new challenge with a hotel in Weymouth.
'˜When we took the Fareham pub over sevenÂ years ago we set out to make it a safe venue and a place we could say we wereÂ proud to own.
'˜Well I think we achieved that, having won the Enterprise Community Pub of the Year for the whole of the southern region two years running and runner-up on the previous twoÂ years.
'˜In the time we have been at the Fareham pub we believe we have achieved what we set out to do and that was to make a difference to the community we live in and we have helped out local charities with well over Â£100,000.
'˜But none of this would have been possible without the great customers and friends we have made since we have been here and we thank you for your support and we hope if you are down in Weymouth you will come and say hello.'Â
Speaking to The News, Martin said that his highlight of his tenure at the pub hadÂ been raising enough money to pay for an assistance dog for a boy with autism.Â Â
He said: '˜The highlight was theÂ assistance dog, which we named Fareham. It took us about six months to raise the money needed. The charity told us that it normally takesÂ much longer than that. Then when they brought him in to the pub to meet the regulars, that wasÂ great. It made it worthwhile.'Â
Martin also said he was proud to have raised enough money to install Fareham's first public defibrillator.Â
He said:Â '˜We were the first in Fareham. It is such a good thing for the community. Anybody can have a heart attack, and with how long it takes ambulances to get places these days, it is so important to have defibrillator near. Anybody can use it and it only needs to be used once for it to be worth it.'Â
Martin said he was also proud to have won awards from the pub owner Ei Group and to have won an award from Fareham in Bloom. But he said he felt the time was right to move on.Â
'˜Fareham has changed,' he said.Â '˜For example we now hire door staff at night.'Â
The pub is looking for a new landlord and an open day was held at the venue on Friday.Â
Martin said they willÂ holdÂ a party to thank the regulars before they officially leave early next year '“Â andÂ he hopes people will come in and say good bye before they go.Â
He said: '˜It will be a sad day when we go, but I think you need to take a chance in life and that's what we are going to do.'Â