Community pub marks anniversary with appeal for new volunteers

From left are committee chairman Graham Rose, secretary Ros Gear, Ian Halliday and Phil Beckett

A VILLAGE pub once threatened with closure is looking for volunteers to help run community events and activities.


The Wheel Inn at Bowling Green, near Pennington, reopened two years ago under the management of a Community Benefit Society (CBS) set up in response to threats the facility would be closed and its land developed for housing.

The once run-down pub was completely refurbished by a team of local volunteers who now organise live music events, fairs, club nights and community social activities.

The team hope to recruit new volunteers when they celebrate the second anniversary of the relaunch by hosting a supporters evening on Thursday 12th March.

The Wheel Inn has been refurbished
The Wheel Inn at Bowling Green, Pennington

Wheel Inn live music coordinator Ian Halliday said: “Our community-run pub now hosts many activities and has provided the venue for quizzes, private celebrations, group meetings and socials, a spring fair, regular live music plus two three-day music festivals and a children’s Christmas party.”

Last year the pub team secured a silver award in the Lymington and Pennington Flower Festival after volunteers spent hours creating floral features and a vegetable garden.

Ian said: “Additional support on an ad hoc basis is always appreciated, for example, by working behind the bar, running activities or events, maintaining the premises and helping out in the garden.”

The pub is also keen to welcome local groups, sports teams or organisations who would like to use the venue for meetings, social events or other activities. It is also keen to arrange additional entertainment nights and support music from a range of genres.

Wheel Inn landlord Phil Beckett said “We have two self-contained bars which can be booked for one-off private or public events, or on a more regular basis.”

Planning is currently under way for the Wheel Inn community Spring Fair on Saturday 9th May, and two three-day music festivals in May and September.

Phil added: “The best way for new volunteers to find out more is to attend our supporters evening, on Thursday 12th March from 7.30pm when the management committee and current volunteers will be happy to discuss the various forms of support and ideas for new events.”

For more information visit or via the pub’s Facebook page.