Villagers urged to show love for local pub in shop window display campaign

Save the Blue Bell Committee members (L-R) Jim McNeil, Debi Leggett, Lyn Juniper-Solley and her son

Save the Blue Bell Committee members (L-R) Jim McNeil, Debi Leggett, Lyn Juniper-Solley and her son Cody Solley, Eileen Duck, commitee chairman Stephen Ward and The Corner Shop owner Zoe Ager. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The owner of a village shop has turned her window display into a lovefest in support of a bid to save her village's last pub.

Save the Blue Bell Committee members Debi Leggett, Lyn Juniper-Solley and The Corner Shop owner Zoe

Save the Blue Bell Committee members Debi Leggett, Lyn Juniper-Solley and The Corner Shop owner Zoe Ager. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Zoe Ager, owner of the Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry, has joined efforts to save the Blue Bell Inn by setting up a bright Valentine's themed display on loving the pub as a "window into the souls" of the village.

The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which is designating its entire window display in the lead up to Vale

The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which is designating its entire window display in the lead up to Valentines Day to the ‘Save Our Blue Bell’ Campaign. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The Lynn Road pub closed in 2018 as a result of poor trading but villagers, who set up a campaign to save it, revealed that there is "overwhelming support" in the local community for it to remain open.

Villagers in Stoke Ferry come together to save The Blue Bell pub.

Villagers in Stoke Ferry come together to save The Blue Bell pub. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The idea behind the display is for people to show their support and help raise money by making a small donation towards the campaign and displaying their love for their special ones in the window.

One of the messages at The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which has designated its entire window display

One of the messages at The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which has designated its entire window display in the lead up to Valentines Day to the ‘Save Our Blue Bell’ Campaign. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Campaigners have raised the money to buy the property from its current owners thanks to fundraising events and a £100,000 grant and loan from the More Than A Pub scheme.

They have also raised £100,000 from a share offer, which has been extended to Valentine's Day, and are looking to secure a further £80,000 to help with renovations.

One of the messages at The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which has designated its entire window display

One of the messages at The Corner Shop in Stoke Ferry which has designated its entire window display in the lead up to Valentines Day to the ‘Save Our Blue Bell’ Campaign. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Debi Leggett, from Stoke Ferry, said: “A big thank you to Zoe Ager for letting the campaign group take over her village shop window.

"We want to encourage the community to display their love for the Blue Bell.

"We wanted something eye-catching that involves Valentine’s Day and that local people could also be involved in."

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A trailer highlighting the campaign and its share offer will be touring the village and surrounding areas over the coming weeks to help raise awareness of the cause and fundraising efforts.

The campaign group tweeted: "Help re-discover your local community and help us save the hub of a village here in the Wissey Valley.

"Imagine being able to enjoy local produce from cakes and coffee to home cooked food. Now is the time to invest in the future."