A VILLAGE pub in a village has come back to life and re-opened its doors after lying closed for the past two years.

Denise Louis and Alan Millson have taken over at the Blacksmiths Arms in Flaxton, after having left the Agar Arms at Warthill in September.

Denise said they had been managers there for about three and a half years, and had found it increasingly difficult to run because of some of the changes and rules imposed by their employers.

However, having taken over the lease of the Flaxton pub, they now had the freedom as tenants to run it as they chose.

“We started selling food last Friday - everything from rib eye steaks to a bowl of soup - and by lunchtime we were fully booked for the evening,” she said. “Alan is in charge of the cooking and he does a smashing curry.”

She said the pub was an important social hub for the community, and former customers had been coming back, including one older customer who liked to come in every day for a half and a chat. “We have had a lot of support from villagers,” she said.

The pub, which fronts onto common grassland, is understood to date back to the 18th century as a coaching inn.

However, Denise appealed for help from locals and others from further afield as she tried to research the history of the pub and other businesses which had been run on the site.

She said she knew that there had been a petrol filling station at the front of the building at one stage, which might have replaced an original village blacksmith.

“I would like to set up a history wall with pictures of the pub in the past, so if anyone can help, and has any old photographs, please phone 01904 403329.”