Cocking villagers flock to pop up pub celebration at Blue Bell

Villagers gather for the pop up pub at the Blue Bell. Picture contributed
Villagers gather for the pop up pub at the Blue Bell. Picture contributed

There was a huge turn out of villagers on Friday evening when the Blue Bell at Cocking held a one night only pop up pub session.

It was the night they all gathered to celebrate a crucial stage in their ambitious project to open a community hub in the former Blue Bell, which sits at the centre of the village.

The village has now bought the pub with completion taking place on April 30. A community share offer remains open for anyone to invest and people can also support the project via donations on the project’s crowdfunding site.

Three quarters of the targeted £637,000 has been raised, with another £150,000 to be found for refurbishment and a tenant to take on the pub hub.

Friday night’s pop up pub not only gave villagers a chance to celebrate but to meet the team behind the project and look at the latest plans for the pub.

“There was a huge turnout and the pub was filled to the brim all evening with chatter and laughter and children played in the garden as glasses were raised to the future of the Blue Bell

Community Hub and the launch of the campaign to raise the extra funds needed to refurbish the building,” said a community hub spokesman.

“An amazing £1,200 was raised on the night and the share offer remains open with donations also very welcome.

“There is a lot of work to do before the Blue Bell can open as the new hub for the Cocking community and the team still need to find that special person, or people, who as tenant will enjoy working to deliver the vision and bring life back into the village.

“A big thank you Langham Brewery and The Three Moles Pub for their help, to all who volunteered clearing the garden and cleaning the Blue Bell getting it ready to open.”

The next pop-up pub is already being planned as well as other fundraising events including open gardens, quiz nights and a village barbecue.