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7th April 2021

Excitement is brewing in Somerset village Pub

The villagers of Stoke Saint Gregory on the Somerset Levels, are in high spirits, as their Heart of The Village Project, (HOTV ) is reaching a significant milestone with bringing their pub, The Royal Oak, back into use, pulling pints and much more.

Our current plan for opening the Pub will be as follows. The first day of opening will be Friday 16th April from 6pm to 9pm. Service will be at table outdoors only, but it is anticipated that a full range of refreshment will be available both on tap and bottled.

Full details of how to do this will be published when we are clear how many people we can accommodate. Guests will be required to scan in or register their contact details. Similar arrangements will be made for Saturday and then from 12pm to 3pm on Sunday. All of this is dependent on the weather and in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Despite facing one of the toughest challenges on record, our volunteers continued to go above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic, they continued to fly the HOTV flag in the face of unprecedented challenges, since the first lockdown was announced, which have been highlighted and exacerbated over the past year during the Covid-19 pandemic

 Stoke Saint Gregory, was in danger of losing its heart. Its Pub closed and in the past year, its only shop closed and moved into a temporary shipping container.

The Community clubbed together and raised sufficient funds to buy the pub. It has been all hands to the pumps ever since.

When the first national ‘lockdown’ arrived in March 2020, for us it was never an option to stand our volunteers and services down, we kept our team focused on their missions and committed to finding new ways of remaining available and responsive to those that need us.

For all of us it meant finding novel ways of working and embracing improvisation and learning. It has been, and continues to be, a hugely challenging and exhausting period. Managing the extreme uncertainty caused by the pandemic has been at the heart of our response as much as anything operational or strategic.

Naturally the refurbished Pub and Shop will look and feel a little different, as our commitment to delivering a safe and secure event for our visitors, volunteers and staff is of the utmost importance.

Spokesperson, Graham Gleed  said “future plans include offering much more than a good pint, as the refurbished pub will also include a community café and garden. The village community has a very optimistic outlook in establishing a newly refurbished Pub and Hub for the village, owned by the community for the community”.


Yes, the plans for re-opening of The Royal Oak are brewing up nicely.

For many village residents, particularly older people, the pub and its shop offer reassurance that their village is still a real village with a beating component.

The 1st pint will be pulled by eighty year old, Pete Nicholas and his wife, Sue, who have lived in the village all their lives. Pete’s father ran the pub for 9 years back in the 40’s and he is pictured (attached) as a 12 year old sitting on the front door step of the pub.

Pete has been regaling the volunteers with his many stories about the pub, going back many years.

Additional HOTV information;

Contact:  Graham Gleed 01823 490407. Mobile 07557 654859



Press release from HOTV Community Project Stoke St Gregory

Contact: Tim Slattery


Phone: 01823 490 528