We are all in this together was very much the attitude of the original shareholders who purchased The Jolly Farmer.
Since 1987, The Jolly Farmer has been owned by the village, after residents joined forces to buy the freehold to save it from property developers.
In 1987, the landlord Mike Hoy was told by Courage Brewery that the barrelage at the Jolly Farmer was not sufficient to sustain Courage's continued interest and that they intended to sell it. Many of the pub's customers had stood at the bar and mourned the potential loss of The Jolly Farmer to a theme pub or a restaurant. The Saturday lunch time drinking group, in a slight alcoholic haze, decided that the pub should not be lost - "why don't we buy it?"
A steering group was setup with Keith Whittle, Jeremy Robson Brown and Geoff Palmer Moore. They were told the pub was going to be up for auction in the spring of 1987 and that the valuer thought the pub would sell at auction for £200,000 but this later changed to £350,000 as there was a lot of local interest to buy the pub.
50 shareholders were needed to invest £2,500 each in order to get £125,000 share capital and 10 brave souls underwrote £10,000 each so that the bid could proceed. Courage provided a loan for £50,000 and Barclays provided a commercial mortgage of £150,000. The pub was eventually bought for £300,000 on June 4th 1987.
The first board meeting was held in the WI Hall on Saturday 13th June 1987 at 10:28am. 28 shareholders were present but it was noted that there were actually 48 shareholders.
Today the pub is growing from strength to strength. We have a new landlord and landlady and next year we will be celebrating 30 years of private ownership while remaining at the heart of the village for the village.