MP raises a glass to new-look pub

editorial image

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero raised a glass to a popular Skegby pub which has recently been given a new lease of life and a new look.

The Rifle Volunteer, on Forest Road, was closed for two weeks while it underwent a total refurbishment costing in the region of £85,000.

But it is now back to business as usual and Gloria popped in for a pint on Friday to show her support to landlady Diane Wharmby.

Diane has transformed the pub’s fortunes in the two years she has been behind the bar, after it had looked likely that it would be sold off.

But she has made the venue a welcoming community pub and convinced Punch Taverns to make the joint investment in its refurbishment.

It now has new lightings and furnishings, an upgraded function room and a brand new bar.

Gloria said: “Looking at The Rifle Volunteer now, it’s hard to believe that it was on a list of pubs to sell off when Diane first took over the reins.

“Bosses from Punch Taverns couldn’t sing her praises highly enough.

“Pubs are central to our communities and it is thanks to Diane that this pub, which was earmarked for closure, is now safe.”

Diane put the success of the pub down to hard work and listening to what customers want.

“I am really pleased with the refurbishment,” she said.

“The dining room is doing better, the function room is doing better.

“It’s lightened it up a lot and the customers seem to really like it.”