A village pub, that closed after a fire spread through the first floor in March, is to reopen for Easter.
Much to the relief of residents in Sherston, the landlord of the Rattlebone Inn has confirmed it will reopen over the Easter weekend, and as early as Good Friday if possible.
Landlord Jason Read paid tribute to the community after about 100 people got in touch to offer their services to help restore the historic Cotswolds inn to its former glory, even offering to take time off work to assist.
He said: “I have had so much help and support from local people.
“The refurbishment is all going very well. We are re-doing all the tables and it’s being brightened up and will look amazing inside once it’s done.
“We will have new wooden floors and carpets; it’s being repainted and we are redecorating the loos.
“The outside is not going to look great for a while and the roof is being rebuilt.
“We are just trying to get it reopened as quickly as possible. We are a village pub and it’s important we get our regulars back in as soon as possible.”
The 17th century inn was the only open pub in the village – up until a fire broke out in a first floor flat on March 18 – following the closure of the Carpenters Arms last year.
The only occupant, manager Gavin Hunt, managed to escape unscathed, thanks to the fire alarms alerting him to the blaze. Fire investigators have so far said that an electrical fault is to blame.
Martin Rea, a stalwart in the community, who is involved in the parish council and village hall committee, said: “It will be marvellous to have it reopened so quickly.
“The brewery has been on the ball to do everything to get it up-and-running as quickly as they can.
“Everyone has missed the pub. You do realise how much you miss a pub in a village when it’s not there.
“It makes you realise how important they are and we will value them even more in future.”
A pop-up version of the pub was set up in the skittle alley of the pub at the weekend, under the name of The Charred Stump.
The temporary inn was set up in tribute to the fire service, raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity.