IT'S all hands to the pump as volunteers work tirelessly to get their much-loved pub back to its best ready for its grand opening in June.

The Drovers Inn in Gussage All Saints was finally saved from development last month after a 15 month battle by residents who were furious when the pub shut without warning in November 2014.

It was sold to a buyer who planned to turn it into a private house but after villagers mounted a spirited counter-campaign against the plans they were refused by East Dorset District Council in June last year.

Residents quickly decided to form a group dedicated to seeing the venue brought back to life and last month a sale was completed.

The Gussage Community Benefit Society, which now owns the pub, is currently in the midst of a major refurbishment before the pub's official reopening in June.

Volunteers have been working alongside professional contractors to complete the refurbishment over the next two months.

Work preparing the interior ready for decoration has now been completed and the grounds have been bought back into good order following the lack of attention during the pub's 15-month closure.

Refurbishment project manager Les Madell said: “In addition to employing contractors for the major works we have had a fantastic response from local residents, tradespeople and suppliers volunteering their help to get the pub open in time for the early summer trade.

"But we are continuing to fundraise towards the refurbishment and invite people to donate. All help is appreciated and will help us to get the doors open at the earliest opportunity.

"There is also still a chance to become a member of the society and take advantage of the share offer at"

A special refurbishment fundraising event is planned for Friday, May 6 from 7.45pm in the Gussage All Saints Village Hall with music from the Repeat Offenders.

Entry is £7.50 and tickets are available in advance from Mal Madell on 01258 840058 or email