An East Budleigh resident who drank his first-ever pint of beer in the Sir Walter Raleigh pub in 1957 had the honour of officially reopening it as a community-owned venue.
Philippa Davies www.exmouthjournal.co.uk
Trevor Hayman, 78, cut the ribbon on Sunday, March 27 in front of a crowd of local residents who are now shareholders in the pub, after they joined forces to buy it.
Trevor Hayman with pub committee chairman Mark Duffelen – Credit: Elsa White
Mr Hayman said: “I have lived in East Budleigh all my life and it is wonderful that the village has managed to save this wonderful pub. It gives me the greatest pleasure to open the Sir Walter Raleigh as our very own community pub.”
With the pub officially open, residents gathered inside to raise a glass to their successful takeover.
It had taken just six weeks and five days – from the day that the steering group launched the share offer in January – to complete the purchase of the Sir Walter Raleigh. In that time more than 300 people gave their commitment by becoming shareholders, volunteering, and committing to use the pub.
More than 90 East Budleigh residents were directly involved in the venture, offering help with legal issues, marketing, refurbishments and general maintenance work. A new landlady and landlord, Carol and Darren Yates, were appointed to run the pub, having previously successfully managed the Bowd Inn and Blue Ball Inn near Sidmouth.
Following the purchase, an army of volunteers came forward to redecorate the 16th-century pub in time for its grand reopening on Mothering Sunday.
Pub committee member and East Budleigh resident Judith Venning said: “We thank all those local businesses who have given their time for free or at a discount. We have received offers of help across all areas of the refurbishment. What a wonderful community we live in!”
The revamped Sir Walter Raleigh will soon also have a café, with volunteers serving hot drinks and cakes from 9am until 11am, prior to the pub’s lunchtime service. Walt’s Café will open on Monday, April 11.
Resident and committee chairman Mark Duffelen said: “I very much hope that everyone will love what’s been done, and most of all love visiting the pub.”
The pub will be open seven days a week, Monday 12-3pm and 5.30-11pm (no food, chef’s day off), Tuesday – Saturday 12-3pm and 5.30-11pm (food served 12-2.30pm and 6-9pm) and Sunday 12-3pm and 6-10.30pm (food served 12-3pm).
Customers can keep up to date by visiting the pub’s Facebook page @sirwalterraleighpub, while a new website is being designed. For further information or to make a booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01395 442510.