New owner transforms fortunes of Railway Inn at Thorpe on the Hill
A village pub has been transformed after being taken on by a new owner.
Anthony Jeffries, 40, took over at the helm of the Railway Inn in Thorpe on the Hill in September.
Just weeks earlier, the pub had been given a one-out-of-five rating by food hygiene inspectors.
But now the businesses is back on its feet after a major effort by Mr Jeffries, who previously worked in corporate hospitality at Premier League Wigan Athletic's football stadium.
And after some deep cleaning, the pub has been re-inspected, and now boasts a four-out-of-five rating.
"The place was rotten when I got here," he said.
"It took a lot of hard work and lots of effort to get it clean and tidy.
"The kitchen was very unorganised and needed rearranging which we did.
"It was a big job and I didn't realise it would be such a challenge when I took it on."
The pub currently boasts a ladies' darts team and a men's pool team while there are plans for themed evenings in the future.
"We want to introduce a disco night on a Friday and a quiz on Thursdays," added Mr Jeffries.
"We are also looking at sorting out a karaoke night.
"There is a perception of this pub being a mans' pub but I want to change that.
"We are offering good food in the evenings and on Sundays and we want walkers and cyclists to feel welcome here.
"We also want to encourage families to come in here. We need to shake off the mans' pub image."
With four guest bedrooms to look after, you would be forgiven for expecting there to be an army of staff on hand.
But the remarkable turnaround has been achieved thanks to the work of Mr Jeffries and his one apprentice.
"I have got one apprentice that works with me," he said.
"I do almost everything and show Nick [the apprentice] what to do.
"His eagerness to learn and willingness to put the effort in was a big help.
"I want to take on another apprentice because I like the idea of giving people the chance to get started in life."
John Gibson, principal environmental health officer at North Kesteven District Council, said: "Following a change of business ownership and re-inspection by NKDC environmental health inspectors, the Railway Inn's rating has increased from a one-star to a four-star premises.
"NKDC's environmental health team are delighted with the response of the new proprietor."