Revealed: The village hall that turns into a PUB every Friday night

Albourne Village Hall into the 'Albourne Arms' every Friday night. Pic Steve Robards SR1607978 SUS-160314-152012001
Albourne Village Hall into the 'Albourne Arms' every Friday night. Pic Steve Robards SR1607978 SUS-160314-152012001

It’s used for dog training, karate classes, council meetings and belly dancing ... but once a week a village hall in the heart of Mid Sussex is turned into a PUB.

Villagers in Albourne first hit on the idea of a ‘pop up’ pub last September and since then it has gone from strength to strength.

Affectionately dubbed ‘The Albourne Arms’, the ‘pub’ is proving to be a hub of village life, bringing a sense of community to the village.

Albourne - population 640 - has no shop, no post office and no official pub after its last - the King’s Head - closed down around 20 years ago.

The ‘Albourne Arms’ is now open for business every Friday night, having originally opened on just Sunday lunchtimes.

Villager Dr Meg Price, who is one of the pop-up pub organisers, said: “Since being involved with this venture I have met more locals than in the past 17 years I have lived here.”

The pub is run by volunteer bartenders living in the village who have all had training from Meg’s husband Gwyn Price who holds a personal alcohol licence.

Meg and Gwyn happen to also sell their own sparkling wine from their home in the village where they have a small hobby vineyard which they share with a neighbour.

Meg added: “We are very fortunate to have Giles Cutlack as one of our bartenders, he works for award winning South Downs Cellars in Hurstpierpoint and is in charge of selecting the wines for our pub.

“The beer comes from the Dark Star Brewery in Partridge Green, another award winning establishment. They sell their draught beer in 5 litre kegs which makes it very easy to handle.

“They do a wide variety of beers so customers at the pub get a chance to taste different ones each week. So far Hophead is the favourite.”

The pub has helped spark enthusiasm for other events - for example there will be a revival of pub quizzes with the next one being held on May 13.

“We also hope to revive film nights,” said Meg. “Some evenings have been enlivened by live music thanks to another bartender - Matt Hodgson.”

Meanwhile, not a second is wasted ... every Friday morning the village hall hosts a playgroup for under 5s, followed in the afternoon by children’s karate classes ... before the ‘pub’ bar opens for business at 8.30pm.