Pub staff have told how they were locked in by police after they received reports of a gunman threatening to shoot at it.

Workers and customers at the Outside Chance in Manton, as well as staff and pupils at nearby Preshute Primary School, were told to stay inside on Friday lunchtime after officers were told a man was threatening to “shoot up the pub”.

Manager Sarah Spooner said: “We were asked by the police to get everyone in from the terrace (the pub’s outside seating area) which we did. We had about three lots in at the time who had come for meals because it was the start of our lunches. We got them all in the pub and locked the doors and we settled them down with free drinks.”

Preshute School headteacher Celia Hicks said: “Most of the children were outside in the playground or on the field at the back of the school so we had to get them all in. The children did not even realise anything was wrong.”

Armed police surround pub ARMED police swooped on a house and closed a village pub after a man called to say he had a gun and was going to shoot someone.

Customers and staff of the Outside Chance pub at Manton had to stay inside for an hour under police guard.

The village school was also told to lock its doors and keep all the children inside on Friday.

The man, who is believed to be in his 60s and lives alone in one of Manton’s culs-de-sac, is understood to have recently been receiving treatment for a psychiatric illness.

A police source said: “From what I was told he had told someone he had a hand-gun and when police spoke to him he threatened to go to the pub and shoot someone.”

Two armed police units and a police dog handler attended the village together with uniformed response officers.

They left after about an hour during which a man was arrested, said a spokesman, although it was eventually agreed to take no further action against him.

The first pub customers knew of the incident, said assistant manager Rosie Lampard whose daughter Hannah is the manager, was when police arrived at about noon and sealed off the pub.

Officers in the car park turned away customers who were arriving for lunches while one officer stayed in the pub with customers and staff.

Mrs Lampard said: “Apparently from what we have been told it was just before 12 when this man made a call to the police to say he had a shotgun and was going to target the pub.

“Within five minutes the police were here; we had four policemen, three in the car park turning people away and one in the pub itself.

“We had to completely lock the pub and everybody who was in here was told to stay,” said Mrs Lampard.

“The man probably said he was coming to the pub because it is a focal point in the village... if he had said he was going to the school there would probably have been a lot more police here.”

The Outside Chance is owned by entrepreneur Howard Spooner and racehorse breeder Guy Sangster.