Little Horwood pub dating back to 1400s to reopen next month after being saved by villagers

The new sign for the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood
The new sign for the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

A pub in Little Horwood which dates back to the 1400s is reopening next month after a team of villagers got together to save it from a state of disrepair.

The Shoulder of Mutton, originally built in 1468, is being refurbished by a team of around 80 volunteers and will be reopened on October 4.

The refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood in action

The refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood in action

The iconic black and white thatched pub , located in the middle of the village, had fallen into a state of disrepair and fearing the prospect of another derelict pub in the middle of the village, locals decided the only course of action was to club together and get the pub up and running themselves.

In the last few weeks more than 80 people have come forward offering skills, labour, resources and money to restore the pub to its former glories.

In scenes which resemble DIY SOS, the premises has been given a makeover from top to bottom.

Undergrowth has been cleared, a new patio has been laid, the gardens have been opened up, a new bar has been installed , painting and decorating has taken place throughout the building, the roof has been repaired, new signs have been erected and the old quarry tiled floor has been hand stripped of its gloss paint by a group of ladies aptly named ‘the strippers.'

The refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

The refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

Frank Donlon, who spearheaded the campaign said: “It’s been a real labour of love and a boost for the local community spirit - people have left the comfort of their homes and helped out in any way they can, meeting new people and making firm friends along the way.

"It has been both inspirational and humbling to witness the determination and the power of all the positive energy.

"So many suppliers, who have heard about the pub through social media and word of mouth, have offered items for free or have given generous discounts."

The grand re-opening takes place at 6pm on October 4 and cutting the ribbon will be five previous landladies who together total more than four decades in charge.

Work on the refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

Work on the refurbishment of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

Refurbishment work continues at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood

Refurbishment work continues at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Little Horwood