Pair who saved Jolly Farmer after blaze thanked as it reopensBy Jon Nurse
July 12, 2012
A Hurst pub reopened with Morris dancing as its landlord thanked quick-thinking customers who acted fast when a fire broke out.
Hurst Morris People and Customs and Exiles Morris, based in Wokingham, celebrated the reopening of the Jolly Farmer in Davis Street on Thursday, June 28, by dancing in the front car park.
Landlord Robert Vickers said: “It was a good way to mark the reopening. We were packed with customers on Father’s Day when the pub kitchen gas cooker caught fire.
“It was only the quick thinking of two locals, Chris Nessling and Bryn Jones, which probably saved the pub from burning down. They turned off the gas main – we could have had an explosion otherwise.”
Mr Vickers’ partner, Phoebe Chung, was running the pub on the day of the fire.
She said: “I was panicking. I’ve never had a problem like that before. Chris and Bryn’s families helped make sure everyone got out. Fortunately no one was hurt. We’re so grateful to them all. The fire brigade came quickly and put out the fire.
“The cost of the damage to the kitchen and all its equipment, and trade loss because we cannot serve food, will be £30,000 to £40,000 minimum.”
The couple want to refurbish the pub and are waiting for planning permission for an extension to the seating area.
Major work is now also needed on the kitchen.