There is a beautiful 16th century half-timbered inn in the pretty village of Orleton halfway between Ludlow & Leominster on the Shropshire – Herefordshire border.
Clay & Rock Director Mark Rees has often enjoyed a pint and some lunch there when wandering through The Marches on a lazy day off but recently heard some worrying news.
The Boot Inn had shut.
Despite being very well supported by the village and a very popular pub, the owner, who was a property developer, had plans to build 5 executive homes on the site and to deprive the village of its favourite watering hole.
Unsurprisingly, the villagers were up in arms. The last time the village was this angry about something it was when Owain Glyndwr lead his Welsh forces across the border in 1405.
This time, instead of rising an armed rabble to repel the invaders, The Community Boot Inn (Orleton) Ltd was formed to buy the pub from the developer and reopen it as it has always been – a warm welcome at the heart of the village.
Almost 300 members of the community invested their own money into the new business and the pub was successfully purchased in Jan 2019.
Having been closed for 18 months and lacking in much needed investment for many years it was not going to be an easy project to get The Boot Inn open again ,so a major renovation and refurbishment programme was started with the aim of having the Boot trading again before the end of the summer.
It was at this point that Mark heard about the efforts of the community and was inspired to see if Clay & Rock could assist in anyway.
As part of the refurbishment work, the layout of the bars and restaurant was changed to open up a much more useful, and larger, space around a single horseshoe bar. This required some levelling work as floors were all at different heights and addressing the flooring throughout the space.
There was a real need for a solution that fitted the character of this lovely old building as well as being easy to clean and maintain for the Landlord. Mark had a look at the challenge and came up with a natural porcelain tile suitable for a commercial application and in keeping with the history of the building as the ideal solution. What is more Clay & Rock decided to provide enough tiles for the whole job completely free of charge.
You can see from these before and after pictures that the new flooring solution works very well with the new layout and is very much in keeping with this lovely old building.
We are all delighted that The Boot Inn is now open again. If you are in Herefordshire or Shropshire, you should consider stopping by for some excellent food and a pint from one of the many local breweries.
There is a warm welcome for all – including our Welsh neighbours – so long as all swords are left at the door.
Massive thanks to Clay & Rock from the whole community of Orleton – your generosity is very much appreciated.
For more information visit www.thecommunitybootinn.co.uk or come and visit us at The Boot Inn, Orleton, Nr Ludlow, Herefordshire, SY8 4HN
We are passionate about keeping old village pubs alive that play an important role as part of local communities. If you are reading this and are involved in a similar community project, let us know about it and we will see if we can help.