Yarcombe: vicar licensee of saved pub

PUBLISHED: 12:25 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:30 16 June 2010

VILLAGERS in Yarcombe rate three things as central to their community – the parish church, the village hall and The Yarcombe Inn. So, when the pub closed a year ago, they felt part of the heart of the village was missing.

VILLAGERS in Yarcombe rate three things as central to their community - the parish church, the village hall and The Yarcombe Inn.

So, when the pub closed a year ago, they felt part of the heart of the village was missing.

Now, thanks to the co-operation of the pub's owners, Alan and Lindsay Middleton, the villagers are running the inn themselves.

Vicar Alistair McCollum is one of five licensees and he pulled the first pint when the pub re-opened last week.

"The pub closed for a simple reason; the landlords were unable to sustain the business," said Reverend McCollum.

"Now, a committee led by Joy Davenport hopes to sign a lease for the pub - after a month's trial.

"What people in Yarcombe really feel is that three things are needed in the village - the church, the village hall and the pub. Those three things are at the heart of Yarcombe."

A team of 35 volunteers is now running the pub, and Mr McCollum is among them.

"I've thrown my lot in with everyone else, because it is only fair," he said.

"The pub has five licensees, who have undergone training, and I'm one of them.

"It goes to show what a community can do when you put your minds together."

A former monastery, The Yarcombe Inn has been a pub for at least 500 years.

It was even a pub when Sir Francis Drake owned it.

The free house has been attracting big support since Mr McCollum pulled that first pint.

From Friday, food will be available on set nights, starting with a curry.

On Saturday, chilli and skittles is being offered. Sunday roasts will be served from this weekend.

Although the pub's re-opening has gone down a treat with villagers, Mr McCollum is keen to point out that a lot of hard work went into the organisation. "The committee worked extremely hard to drive this," he said.

"Although I'm on the committee, it was the others who did the work."

If the month's trial is a success, the committee hopes to sign a lease for the pub, to ensure its on-going place as a pivotal part of Yarcombe.


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