Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Drinking pals buy closed-down pub

Tradesman's Arms in Scorriton
The Tradesman's Arms is getting a new lease of life

Four drinking pals were so upset when their local pub closed that they decided to buy it.

The friends had met in the Tradesman's Arms in Scorriton, Devon, every weekend for 10 years so after it shut, they raised 230,000 to reopen it.

Mike Ruddy, Mike Maddicks, Philip Friggens and Mark Mitchell are all moving into the staff quarters after selling their homes.

They hope to re-open the 200-year-old inn by Christmas.

'Heart and soul'

The friends stepped in after the pub was repossessed last year.

Mr Mitchell, 37, who is giving up his council officer job to be barman, said: "It's just like that ad. We liked the pub so much we bought it."

Train driver Mr Maddicks, 42, said: "I like drinking. I used to drink in this pub and I want to come back and drink in this pub.

"It will hopefully put the heart and soul back into the community."

He reckons the pub can be successful again.

Mr Maddicks said: "Like anything in life, what you put in is what you get out.

"It's a beautiful area, people visit all the time.

"If we can encourage them, along with the locals, I think we can succeed."

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