The canal-side Barge Inn at Honeystreet will re-open as a rock ’n’ roll pub nearly two months after its closure tomorrow – with a little help from The Rolling Stones.
Artwork by Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood – currently touring with the band as it celebrates its 50th anniversary – will feature in the new-look hostelry near Pewsey.
As well as being one of the great rock guitarists, Wood is an acclaimed artist whose paintings of fellow musicians are exhibited all over the world and snapped up by fine art collectors.
Freeholder of The Barge Ian McIvor, an art collector and gallery owner who has amassed several of Wood’s paintings, said the works would help give The Barge a new lease of life.
Among those set to be on display when the inn opens its doors at 5pm tomorrow will be Wood’s interpretation of reggae icon Bob Marley entitled Get Up Stand Up and some etchings of the Rolling Stones.
Mr McIvor, who knows Wood, said: “He’s a fantastic artist. His works will be just one aspect of The Barge, though.
“It will be a rock ’n’ roll pub with superb photos of rock artists as well as other elements of décor.”
Situated alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal, the pub closed in controversial circumstances on October 21 after it had been run as a community project with the aid of £430,000 Lottery funding.
Mr McIvor had leased the 200-year-old tavern to The Barge Inn Community Project which took over its running in August 2010 after the previous landlords June and Adrian Potts retired.
It closed for six weeks from February last year and re-opened in April after a major refit financed by the Big Lottery’s Village SOS fund but closed just under eight weeks ago after declaring itself insolvent with huge debts.
Derren Heath and Amanda Swindell, both in their early 40s, are the pub’s new tenants and were yesterday working alongside Mr McIvor to get it ready for opening time.