The Lamarsh Lion at Lamarsh in Essex, asked their oldest customer, 86-year-old Mrs Gerry Loudoun-Shand, to officially open their new community café and games room this week.
Pub is The Hub advisor, Terry Stork, encouraged the community to convert the barn adjacent to the pub into a café and games room to cater for a wider range of residents and visitors to the area. Pub is The Hub also contributed towards the cost of the refurbishment with a grant of £3,000 from its Community Services Fund.
Purchased and refurbished by the Lamarsh community in 2017, they are determined to widen its community appeal: The café and games room are open from 10.30am every day until the pub closes in the evening and also acts as an over-spill area for pub diners.
Chair of the The Lamarsh Lion Community Pub Limited, Robert Erith said: “These new facilities give a much-needed meeting place for local residents and the wider community to socialise. Ease of access into the café and games room means the space is accessible and appealing to a wide range of ages, including ladies like Gerry Loudoun-Shand. We are enormously grateful to Pub is The Hub for the advice and support they have given along with the grant to help us with costs.”
Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub added: “In a rural area where older or more vulnerable people can become isolated and lonely this sort of scheme brings them into a social environment that is warm, welcoming and open seven days a week. I wish the community lots of luck.”
The centuries-old pub, also known as ‘The Painters’ Pub’, closed without warning in May 2016 so a Community Benefit Society was formed and the pub was acquired under community ownership on the 31st July 2017. Since then work on the interior transformed this partially derelict premises into an outstanding pub and community asset.