At the time of going to press we are closing in on the milestone of completing the purchase of the Royal Oak. Indeed, by the time you are reading this article, it may have already occurred. That being the case it is planned to hold an open day for members of the community to visit the property to discuss and understand plans that we have for the building, in particular the orientation of the facilities. Current thinking, prior to access to the building, is that the Shop will be on the left and the Pub on the right, with the ‘garden room common to both sides of the house.

Having started with the latest news it is worth revisiting the path that has led us to this point. In June despite the restrictions caused by the Covid situation we did successfully elect a management committee, and hold our first Annual Members Meeting, a major condition of our benefactors. At the first meeting of this committee a decision was taken to proceed with the purchase of the Royal Oak. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter two of the elected members gave notice of their resignation, causing to committee to co-opt Chris Reah who had also stood in the election.

At the request Triodos Bank, one of our lenders, a revaluation of the Royal Oak was conducted. While this was confidential between the valuer and the Bank, we did learn that the value of the property had appreciated. Furthermore, a revised financial forecast reflecting both current shop trading and a reduced revenue stream from the pub has been approved by our lenders.

In the meantime, the shop (in a box) continues to trade well above the level predicted in our original business plan. Jo and Carolynn have developed a business plan that will build from the excellent foundations that they have established in the existing temporary accommodation.

The Royal Oak itself has changed a lot over the years, and it is set to change again, not least because it will be including the shop. We would like to know what sort of a pub you would wish to see in our village.

Rather than ask you to fill in a tedious survey, the HOTV team would like to know what are your three favourite pubs, and why? Properly analysed, the results could tell us an enormous amount about what people value in a pub and help guide us in our refresh of the Royal Oak. (They don’t have to be local pubs, but it would be good if at least one of them was.) We would, as always, love to hear your suggestions

Please send your answers and comments to