I have been a customer of The Horseshoes since 1971, which is some 52 years and resident of Silk Willoughby since 1978. Over that period there have been a lot of comings and goings and changes.
So it was a great deal of sadness to myself as well as many other people that for various reasons The Horseshoes Public House closed down around late 2010/ early 2011. A public house with metal shutters at the window is not a pretty sight no matter where it is but especially not in a village as picturesque as Silk Willoughby.
Our village had up to that date a Church, Post Office, Village Hall and Pub, all still open and active which, even in villages four times larger than Silk Willoughby, no longer was the case.
Following the closure we didn’t know what the future would hold for The Horseshoes.
On my way to work one day there appeared a large banner advertising ‘Pub Lease For Sale’. I requested details from the agents and they informed me it was actually the freehold which was for sale, not the lease. I am a firm believer that all pubs, especially village pubs, should be kept open if at all possible. They are an essential part of the community, not just as a place to go for a drink but a place to meet friends, make new acquaintances etc.
I put in a bid for The Horseshoes and after some time and negotiation was successful in purchasing the establishment. The purchase was completed on November 24th 2012.
Once I had the keys I then came down to inspect the property, finished my inspection, stood in the middle of the bar and thought ‘What have I done?’.
The place was nearly derelict so I left the pub shut whilst building contractors spent time on renovations and was able to open the bar around April 19th 2013. Over the following 3 months further restoration work was carried out on the restaurant and kitchen and they opened around July 19th 2013 when we had an official opening event.
The Horseshoes was built in 1831 so as in any property, especially a building of that age, maintenance work is continuous to this day. My original aim was to restore The Horseshoes as a going concern and that ambition still carries on to this present day.
As part of the celebration day I intend to have a display of photographs of before and after the renovations. The Anniversary Celebration will take place on Saturday 8th July and further details to follow.
Paul Steer, Landlord & Owner