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Village pub saved by people power packs in the punters
4:20pm Thursday 26th April 2012 in News
AN historic pub saved by regulars is doing so well that it has taken on four staff to cope with demand.
The John o’Gaunt has been revived after closing down on New Year’s Eve.
The 150-year-old pub in Horsebridge, near King’s Somborne, faced being turned into flats.
But following a campaign to keep it as a pub, a planning application was dropped.
Then Toni Simmonds stepped forward and, with help from an army of volunteers, revamped and reopened the pub on Easter Saturday.
Since then it has been doing a roaring trade.
Toni said: “It has got off to a tremendous start. We are having to take on staff to cope with demand.
“The pub is looking so fresh with the hand-painted signs, flowers, etc, and the life has been put back into her once again.
“I hope she will be a vital part of the community in Horsebridge.
“I have too many people to thank, but I will do my best to repay them all by making the pub a success and know with people like them behind me, I can do just that.”
Following coverage in the Romsey Advertiser, the grand opening night alone attracted more than 370 people and since then there has been a steady flow of locals and people from further afield. Real ales are on tap, plus a new menu by Stockbridge chef, Lee McDowell, based on local produce such as fish from the Test and local farmers’ produce.
King Somborne parish councillor, Dawn Harrison, who was involved in the campaign to reopen the pub, said: “It has been packed out. It has shown us it just had to be the right person and the right type of hospitality.”