Pub is at the centre of the community with its generous regulars

(l-r) bar manager Jade Longhurst, landlord Martin Munns and landlady Diane Munns. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142310-590)
(l-r) bar manager Jade Longhurst, landlord Martin Munns and landlady Diane Munns. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142310-590)
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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Kind-hearted landlord of The Fareham Martin Munns has been so blown away by the generosity of his regulars, he has decided to launch the pub’s very own charity.

Martin, 49, took over the pub, in Trinity Street, Fareham, with his wife Diane in September 2011.

It had a chequered history and the couple faced a battle to bring the pub up to the standard it is today.

They set about renovating the pub, stamping out trouble and attracting more families.

Martin said: ‘It was a trouble pub and then it went to having nobody here. We decided to refurbish it and then we started to turn it around.

‘When we did that, people started coming back in.

‘We firmly believe that the pub should be part of the community. We would rather be part of it and help in some way.’

Now the pub has a welcoming atmosphere, where regulars pitch in together to take part in various fundraisers.

The pub has held skittle nights, pub games, barbecues and open mic nights,

The pub recently presented charity Guide Dogs for The Blind with a cheque for £5,000, – made up of £4,000 pitched in by regulars and topped up with £1,000 from Martin and Diane.

Martin said he felt inspired by the generosity of his customers, who reached the target in a record time of seven months, and has decided to set up a charity called Fareham in Need.

This charity will use the pub’s punter power to fundraise for local good causes.

Martin said: ‘We have come up with a new charity called Fareham in Need, nicknamed Fin, and we will be helping people in our community who are either struggling through illness, have lost their job, or are going through hard times.

‘We will be helping people who need the money, such as buying presents for their children at Christmas.’

The Fareham’s regulars agree that the fundraising will be a good idea, as they have seen Martin and Diane hold regular events which makes the pub fun and lively, as well as helping a good cause.

Phil Jenkins, 54, from Fareham, said: ‘Martin and Diane put so much effort into it and the regular customers enjoy it.

‘It gives something to someone who needs it, and helps a good cause.

‘You can’t fault Martin and Diane for their effort and commitment.’

Pub regulars Phil Langdon, 52, from Fareham, and his partner Linda Statcher, also said they were looking forward to more fun and interesting fundraising activities.

Meet the landlord

MORE than 30 years in the forces has set landlord Martin Munns in good stead for being at the helm of The Fareham pub.

He and his wife Diane moved into the pub in Trinity Street in September 2011, along with sons Carl and Aaron.

The family spent a six-month spell at The White House in Milton, before it closed down to make way for houses, and that gave them a taste for pub life.

Martin, 49, married Diane in 1986 and the couple moved here shortly after when he was posted to HMS Collingwood, in Fareham, in his role as instructor in the Royal Navy.

Now the caring duo make a dynamic team behind the bar, along with their manager Jade Longhurst.

Jade has worked at the pub for the past three years, starting at just 18 years old, and has worked her way up to being a competent and friendly bar manager.

The three of them have worked hard to turn the pub around and Martin says the place is barely recognisable from when they first took it over.

Martin said he has a strict no-swearing rule that he enforces, that has helped to make the pub the family-friendly place it is today.

Martin said: ‘We wanted more families coming in, with their kids and we allow dogs.

‘We don’t allow swearing as that’s commonly associated with trouble and it’s worked.

‘Everything is going in the right direction.’

He has opened up the back garden, created a barbecue area and made a non-smoking outdoors section at the front of the pub and it has earned a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor for its food.