IT’S the recently renovated pub that has become the hub of a Winchester community.

And since taking over the running The King Charles pub last year, manager Dawn Anchor says the support from villagers has been great.

After brightening the place up and giving it a more welcoming appeal, Dawn said: “It’s taken a while to find our feet. I didn’t know what the people were like, but it’s been a really good journey - one of the best moves I have made.

“I wanted it to be bright and so anyone can come in here.”

Dawn spoke of one new customer, a 92-year-old woman who has lost her husband, who said that a meal at The King Charles has been the first time she has been able to come out and feel OK since her husband died.

Since taking over the Kings Worthy watering hole, Dawn has seen it play host to a number of events and has seen a new play area installed with the help of local carpenter Andy Green.

She said: “Since we put the play area in it’s gone mad!”

As well as holding events like the recent festival, which saw live music and children’s activities outside the Lovedon Lane venue, the pub has also also put on a number of smaller event to help others in the community.

It recently aided in the launch of Kings Worthy resident Lesley York’s first book, called Henry the Naughty Raven, as well as a knitting event which saw two Winchester groups come together to create quilts for charity Friends of the Family.

As well as supporting the community in terms of events, Dawn also puts on themed evenings and tries to support local producers with the food served at the pub.

She said: “It’s all homemade, that was the key thing - no ‘ping and ding’.

“Even on curry night everything was made fresh. As much as we can we use local [produce].”

What the customers had to say:

Don York, 78, a retired consultant from Churchill Close, Kings Worthy, said: “It’s been a breath of fresh air since they took over. They’ve put an awful lot of work into this place. They’ve turned it around into something brilliant. They do themed evenings which always go down well.”

Charlie Shergold, 38, of Lovedon Lane, Kings Worthy, who works in farming, said: “It is welcoming. Since the refurbishment it’s been a breath of fresh air – there’s much more going on, it does more for the community. It’s the centre of the community.”

Andy Green, 46, a carpenter from Stoke Charity Road, Kings Worthy, said: “It’s nice to have friendly faces. It’s very community minded. Great staff, just a welcoming feel. It was awful beforehand. We’re lucky to have them.”