Skeeby pub set to reopen after 15-years following huge community effort

The Travellers Rest in Skeeby will reopen this weekend after being shut for the last 15 years.

The newly refurbished pub will open its doors tomorrow, to the delight of locals and supporters, as well as shareholders who come from as far afield as Los Angeles and Sydney to held fund the purchase

The reopening comes after years of hard work by Britain’s longest running community pub group.

The Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) came together after the pub shut in 2008 and was bought by a property developer who announced plans to convert the premises into a house.

SCPS was formed to fight the change of use planning application and gather support for the purchase and renovation of the Travellers Rest as a community pub.

After a lengthy battle, the SCPS took ownership of the then shell of a building, and began the task of bringing it back to life in January 2022.

The building is entirely owned by over 250 shareholders, with a combined investment of over £300,000.

On a tight budget, the restoration and refurbishment has been carried out by volunteers and local tradespeople, led by the SCPS.

The project has not been without its challenges as 2022 saw a massive increase in the cost of building materials, and a number of unforeseen circumstances led to the opening date being pushed back a number of times.

Chair of the SCPS, Carol Wilkinson said: “It’s been an absolute privilege to be part of this community project and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this amazing group of people – we hope you all like what we have done with your pub.”

The group handed the keys of the pub to new manager Karen McGhee on Friday.

Karen said she was excited to be taking on the challenge of running the pub and establishing the new business.

She will be installing a suggestions box which patrons will be encouraged to use to tailor the services available to suit the requirements of the community.

The community group said the renovated pub aimed to provide a warm and welcoming environment with comfy chairs, a log burning stove and bespoke hand-crafted bar with cask ales from local brewers.

Upstairs, the new garden room opens onto a deck overlooking the south-facing beer garden, flower beds and quoits pitches.

The pub will also serve as a gallery space for local artists, with all the artwork on display available to buy.

The paved courtyard to the rear of the building is accessible through a stone walled alleyway and is perfect for muddy paws, boots and bikes; the building also has wheelchair accessible facilities.

The pub will be open from 12noon to 11pm daily from Friday.

Initially the pub will only be serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, however the society said a menu was being finalised for home cooked meals using locally sourced ingredients.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Well Done to everyone involved, all your hard work has paid off and it looks amazing. Best of luck for the future and I look forward to calling in when I’m back in the area.

  2. I love the idea of this community pub…. I first visited probably back in 1989/90 … and it was weird – cos the ‘locals’ looked at passersby as if we were aliens! … ha ha. Times have changed… thank fully…. My only query is… if you become very popular…. what parking is available other than the front forecourt??? Wish you well …..

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