A GROUP of villagers have teamed up in a bid to save their local watering hole.
The Friends of the Russell, made up of around 20 Butlers Cross residents, are appealing to other villagers to take out shares in The Russell Arms pub which is currently up for sale.
Leader of the group, Matt Porter, says the building – put on the market by Punch Taverns for £425,000 – is of great value to nearby residents.
“Butlers Cross is quite a small village, with around 400 houses, and just two community facilities – the village hall and the pub,” he said.
“We feel it would be really great shame if it were to be turned into something else, as we believe there’s a possibility of it changing into a curry house, Chinese restaurant or a residential development.
“It’s a tragedy for local communities when their village pub goes under and we are going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening to our local.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the strength of support so far and we are encouraging everyone in the local area to join us in our campaign to rescue The Russell.
“Shares are £5,000 each.
“We’re trying to get everyone to take part.
“The plan is for the village to acquire the asset and then to find a manager, or a couple, to run the pub – as there is living space above.
“We will also be looking into revamping the place, as it’s not quite the busy, well-presented thriving hub that it once was a few years ago.
“We’d really like to take it back to those days.”
A meeting to discuss the possibilities surrounding the groups bid to save The Russell Arms is taking place tomorrow in the Butlers Cross village hall at 8pm.
For more information email email@example.com or visit www.chilternbrewery.co.uk/friendsoftherussell.