Gribble Inn missed by Oving residents

Gribble Inn fire aftermath SUS-140720-142220001
Gribble Inn fire aftermath SUS-140720-142220001

A VILLAGE will gets its fire-damaged pub back in working order, but it is not yet known how soon.

Considered to be the ‘heart of the village’, the Gribble Inn, in Oving, caught fire after an electrical fault last Saturday (July 19), leading more than 100 firefighters to converge on the village to fight the blaze.

Rod Hague, whose family owns the building, said the pub would reopen at some point, but it was too early to say when this would happen.

“It obviously will be open again. It’s a question of timing,” he said.

As a Grade-II listed building, The Gribble has to be assessed by experts to work out the best way forward to begin construction.

The Gribble has been in the Hague family’s possession since 1979, when Rod’s father Peter converted two farm cottages into a pub for the village, something which up to that point Oving had been lacking.

Chairman of Oving Parish Council Sjoerd Schuyleman said the loss of the pub had been ‘extremely upsetting’ for the village.

“Certainly everybody misses the pub,” he said, adding: “I’ve spoken to a number of people saying how they miss going to The Gribble for a pint.”

He said the pub, which also incorporated the village shop and a coffee shop, was the ‘heart of the village’.

The day after the fire, there was concern about what could have started the fire, with some fearing the possibility of an arson attack.

However, fire investigation officer Mike Hetherington ruled this out, concluding the fire was the result of an accidental electrical fault.

He revealed the fire started in the main electrical intake to the building and had then spread to the thatch.

The Observer was inundated with messages of support for the Hague family, as well as Nikki Tester and Simon Wood, who have run the pub for the past five years.

Rod also thanked everyone for their support this week, saying it ‘meant a lot’.

The fire brigade was called around 5.30am on July 19, after Nikki got up in the morning to find the thatch on fire.

Fire crews managed to save half the building by creating a barrier in the thatch and insurance teams have been working to assess the total damage.