20 June 2024

New community pub ‘captures nostalgia’ after 100 years

Work is well underway to restore a historic pub and create a ‘community hub’.

The Porton Hotel was purchased by ‘PubCo’ Enterprise Inns (now Stonegate) earlier this year and work is underway to bring the pub back to its former glory and make the venue an asset of real community value.

Keith Hartland is behind the consortium who acquired the premises. He told Love Salisbury, “In January this year I set up a local community consortium to buy the Porton Hotel off Enterprise Inns as they were selling for development so the community would have lost its pub.

“We are currently restoring and have changed the name to ‘The Old Railway Hotel’, it was called ‘The Porton Railway Hotel’ in Victorian Times, back when it was built so we wanted to capture the nostalgia.

“Refurbishment is still ongoing with a view to the opening towards the end of May, the plus is that it’ll be community owned and run with the objective of trying to restore some community sprit after the most difficult of years.”

Keith was ‘intrigued’ by the pub’s history and says, “It burnt down in June 1921 after the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918/19, looking at the iconic Victorian building it looks like this was also last time it was properly refurbished.

The consortium hope that the pub will be open again on 21st June 2021, exactly a century after it burned down.

Financial manager Keith adds, “Some 100 years on from the fire in the twenties, we will have got the Hotel back to its former glory.”

Keith says that the pub will be community-owned and run and will restore some of its nostalgia.

Written by
David Harber
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Written by David Harber