Historic 17th century inn The Ship and Bell in Horndean welcomes new landlady 'overwhelmed' by community's support

THE new landlady of a historic Horndean pub says she is ‘overwhelmed’ by the community’s support as she sets out to transform the venue’s food offering.

Maria Arnett has recently taken over the management of The Ship and Bell, in London Road, and has recruited a new team to help in her efforts to make the 17th century hostelry a focal point for the village's community.

To aid her, the new landlady has hired a new chef, Josh Andrews, with the aim of ‘transforming’ the options for dining at the village pub.

Maria said that she plans to increase events, such as the popular Tuesday quiz night, at the Fuller’s pub.

Josh Andrews and pub manager Maria Arnett

She explained: ‘Managing this fantastic pub is a real honour and the challenge now is to continue to make tweaks to what we do to ensure our customers get the service they deserve.

‘They have been brilliant since I came in and have reacted so positively to the new management. Horndean is such a lovely place and here at The Ship and Bell we feel we can enhance people's experience off both living here and visiting the area. It's such a wonderful part of Hampshire, it really is and anything we can do to benefit our community is a big plus.

‘We have loads of ideas regards our events and we have already brought Josh in and he has proved he is a superb chef and he's getting rave reviews, which of course is so positive.’

The Ship and Bell pub was where George Gale started his Gale and Co. brewery business in the mid-1800s and went on to create HSB, the ‘Horndean Special Bitter’.

Staff at The Ship and Bell have been gearing up to help customers celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, as Maria added: ‘It's a unique period in our country's history and we want to play our part helping to celebrate Her Majesty's incredible reign. It's a long weekend with two bank holidays that we are so looking forward to.’

The Ship and Bell is open 12pm to 11pm between Tuesday and Sunday, and opens at 3pm until 11pm on Mondays.