Community saves its cherished pub

Fox & Hounds pub, Charwelton
Fox & Hounds pub, Charwelton

Work has started on refurbishing and redecorating a village pub which has been saved from closure by the local community.

The Fox and Hounds in Charwelton also has a new licensee to run it once it reopens – Steve Weeks who also runs The Windmill in Badby.

The pub closed its doors towards the end of 2012, and was then sold at auction to a developer. But the local community was then given the chance to buy their pub.

After some serious fundraising, the village pub group took possession of the building in December and are now working to get it ready to reopen.

Daniel Elkin is one of those involved in the Charwelton Community Pub and Shop Co-operative, which now owns the building. He said: “It was a big relief for me to see people working inside of the pub. It has been over a year since it closed and we had a challenging time to say the least in buying the building.

“First we had to deal with the pub’s owners. Then it was sold to the property developer. There was a lot of work for everyone involved.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the people who bought shares, plus the Cooperative Community Enterprise Hub and Finance.

“Shares are still available for anyone who wants to buy into a real community pub, run by the community itself.

“We now have volunteers working inside the building, taking out what we don’t want, replacing and repairing what needs to be done, and generally getting the place ready to reopen.

“We don’t have a date set as yet, but I’d expect the work to take until February.

“It is a serious business now – we need to get people back in through the doors. But we are definitely excited about it as well.”