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Refurbishment sparks hopes of village pub near Stone re-opening

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: March 02, 2014

Phil Dale, who stepped in to save the Roebuck in 2012

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HOPE remains that a village pub near Stone may reopen after a brewery launched a refurbishment project

The Roebuck at Hilderstone shut again at the end of January, despite campaigns to keep it open by locals including the parish council, who have registered it as a community asset.

The six-month registration was due to expire on Thursday, March 6, but last week parish councillors agreed to extend the registration for another month.

Chairman Roy Clark also reported that pub owner Admiral Taverns were currently refurbishing the venue, in the hope of attracting a new landlord, and he had been invited to take a look at the ongoing work.

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He added "It is now in a cleaner condition. They said it was a relatively clean pub compared to some.

“The long room at the back is a fantastic space and the kitchen itself was in a pristine condition, the same goes for the toilets, everything else was a bit rough.

“I have had telephone calls from people saying 'what are you going to do with the pub'. And there is certainly a bit of speculative interest.”

But county councillor Ian Parry warned: "It is never going to be sustainable unless local people use it. I found out from (former landlord Pete Condiffe) how many used the pub and it was six villagers.

“If we lose it it is something that will lessen the value of the village as a place to live. People looking at a village want a pub.”

Vice chairman Michael Shelley added: "It is only a village asset to those who use it.”

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