The people's pub: How regulars took over their local to stop it closing

Nestling in the Clywdian hills, Llanarmon-yn-Ial in Wales is the sort of village where people dream of living. Unlike many rural villages these days, it still has a shop, a post office, a church and a pub, The Raven Inn.

Dating back to 1772, the pub epitomises all that is safe and solid about village life. But earlier this year, it was closed, and Llanarmon found itself without a public house.

That it is open at all today is all down to a remarkable TV project.

And the reborn Raven Inn is a very different beast. There is no landlord but a management committee, the bar staff are unpaid, as are the cooks and the cleaners. In a bid to save the pub, the regulars simply crossed to the other side of the bar and rolled up their sleeves.

Raven Inn

Save our boozer: The regulars at the Raven Inn who now run the pub

'None of us knew anything about bars,' says Doug Macpherson, who sits on the management committee.

'But we didn't have much choice. If we wanted a pub, we had to make it happen. So we did, and it turned into a real community project.'

Raven Inn

Action: The project was the brainchild of millionaire Jay Smith

The project was the brainchild of millionaire Jay Smith, who made his fortune in the pub business in his native Yorkshire.

'I realised it was becoming very difficult to find a traditional country pub,' he says, 'so I decided to do something about it.'

Jay got a TV company on board and set off to find five traditional boozers to save, and locals who were prepared to get involved.

'You can't underestimate the commitment needed,' he says.

Doug Macpherson is one of the villagers who took part. 'Jay got us all in a room and asked us if we wanted to get on board,' says Doug.

'My reservation was that I knew nothing about the bar trade. When we went round the room, talking about what talents we could bring, all I had to offer was that I'd done a bit of marketing. I ended up in charge of that, of course.'

We can't reveal how all the pubs in the series got on, but the fact that The Raven Inn is still open, months after filming stopped, speaks volumes. 'We're not out of the woods yet,' says Doug. 'But in terms of fostering community spirit, it's been a huge success.' n

Jenny Johnston Save Our Boozer is on Blighty from 8 December at 8pm.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now