Positive News from a small rural village in Somerset

The villagers of Stoke Saint Gregory on the Somerset Levels, are in high spirits, as the Heart of The Village Project, (HOTV ) is reaching another significant milestone with bringing their pub, The Royal Oak, back into use pulling pints and much more

The Community clubbed together and raised sufficient funds to buy the pub and took procession of the pub on the 26th August. It has been all hands to the pumps ever since, steered on by the  HOTV Project group, in theses challenging Covid  times.

Neighbour’s and volunteers are offering a huge amount of practical support, including plastering and painting, to refurbish and repurpose the village Pub for community use

Monday, November 30th, marked the second major milestone in our project journey. The community shop relocated from the 'shop in a box' at the Village Hall to its new home in the Royal Oak pub. With the shelves now fitted and completion of renovation work it is difficult not to be impressed by the new location

None of this would have been possible, without the energy and dedication of a large band of volunteers. The Management Committee wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to all of those who have made, in many small and not so small ways, a major contribution to our progress.

The shop owned by the community is now available for the community in the building purchased by the community. We hope that the community will take advantage of the range of goods available.

It was our plan to open the cafe/coffee shop at the same time as the shop, but due to the current Covid restrictions this is obviously not possible

Finally, if this is the second milestone you may well ask what are the others?

Next will be the opening of the Pub for food and drink in the second half of Q1, then finally full use of the building as a community asset around the middle of next year.

Spokesperson, Graham Gleed said “future plans include offering much more than a good pint, as the refurbished pub will also include a community café. The village community has a very optimistic outlook in establishing a newly refurbished Pub and Hub for the village, owned by the community for the community”

Yes, the plans for The Royal Oak are brewing up nicely.

“When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England” (Hilaire Bellocs, 1943 cited in Hutt, 1973, pp7). This famous quote by Belloc to some extent sums up the cultural value of the village pub. For some village residents, particularly older people, the pub and its sign offer reassurance that their village is still a real village with a beating component.

Additional HOTV information;

Contact:  Graham Gleed 01823 490407. Mobile 07557 654859  

Email  contact@hotvssg.org

Web  www.hotvssg.org 


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