September 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Landlords who transformed a derelict pub back into a thriving hub in the community have really raised the bar after scooping a prestigious award.
Terry Gaskin and partner Karen Rand have invested more than £25,000 to transform the Prince of Wales, in Broxted, since they became the owners in 2011. The pub had been boarded up for 18 years before they took over.
Their hard work was recognised last Thursday when members of the North West Essex Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) presented them with the annual branch Pub of the Year Award.
Terry, who has been working in the industry for 40 years, was delighted with the recognition. He said: “To have transformed it that quickly and to win this is fantastic.
“When I came here I loved the look of the place but when we moved in people said we did not have a chance of making it work. That made us more determined to prove them wrong.
“Now it is a real hub of the community. It can be hard to get people in because they know it as a run down pub but once I do get them in, I know they will come back.”
For almost two decades the Prince of Wales was left empty. There were many failed business attempts to bring it back into use, including plans to turn the venue into an Indian and Italian restaurants.
Since the couple took over it has gone from strength to strength and is renowned for its real ales. The couple have spent money on re-decorating, transforming the garden and adding log-burners.
“It is not just the real ales, it also the home-cooked food and the ambience,” Terry added. “It lends itself to being a good old village pub.”
Branch secretary Tom Bogie was “delighted” to hand-over the award.
He said: “The pub serves an excellent range of perfectly kept real ales, was at the heart of its community and was a worthy winner of this prestigious award.”