With the pub sign, from left, Steve Leggett, Colin Sampson and Stephen Ward. Pictures: Ian Burt

Residents reinforced  their support for a community pub campaign when they took over their village.

Households in Stoke Ferry  took part in the Bank Holiday Takeover event to prove just how much they wanted to keep their only pub, The Blue Bell, as a community asset.

Organisers of the Campaign to Ring The Blue Bell Again said Monday’s event was “much more  successful” than expected.

Chairman Stephen Ward said more than 200 people joined in during the course of the afternoon, which saw cakes sold out within an hour, takeaway beers and wine sold out and a brisk trade in teas and coffees.

The village became a pub for the day as campaigners invited people to turn their homes and gardens into a pub for their family and friends as part of the village-wide activities. 

Mr Ward said the event went “incredibly well” and was a “phenomenal vote of confidence for the desire for the community to have a pub which enables people to come together and act as a real hub”.

He said it had illustrated a “real sense of community” and had also raised  £1,200 towards the aim of restoring and re-opening the closed Blue Bell as a community-owned and run asset.

“I think the pandemic has changed people’s attitudes. I think people place greater emphasis on their community now when in the past they have gone to other towns and venues. 

“People appreciate how important neighbours and the village is to them. We think it really bodes well for the campaign,” said Mr Ward, who added the hope was to stage more “live” events in the autumn.

Campaigners hope to make a grant application and launch a community share offer scheme to buy the pub.