BUILDING work has begun on a pub saved from demolition by the local residents.
The huge bar of the Fox and Hounds, in Denmead, is now taking shape following a huge effort by villagers to strip it down over several weekends.
Around £450,000 was raised to secure the pub and stop it being bulldozed and turned into housing by developers.
More than £300,000 came from community investors and a further £150,000 has come from commercial loans.
Now the work has started on ripping out and replacing the old, run-down, bar area and it is starting to look like a real village pub again.
Rob Stark, one of the directors, said: ‘The future is bright.
‘Building work is progressing, just a little slower than we had hoped due to finding things that we didn’t really want to find.
‘However, it’s all happening. We found that one of the main pillars holding up part of the building was built with soft Thermalite blocks which had to be replaced.
‘This gave us the opportunity to open up the new centrally positioned bar.
‘We have two beautiful slabs of solid ash being delivered to finish off the bar top.
‘I think everyone will agree that it will be a great improvement and it opens up so much space.’
Heavy rain last month seeped through the car park and formed a lake underneath the floor.
So the wooden floor has now been taken up and concreted over.
It will be covered with either flagstones or salvaged timber.
Mr Stark said the ripped-up floorboards will make good fuel for Bonfire Night – which he hopes will be the grand opening.
Local businesses have also shown generosity, with Town and Country Windows donating the five front windows and timber merchants JF Goodwillie donating the roofing timber.
There is still time to invest. Go to foxandhounds-pub.co.uk.