A quaint country pub that narrowly escaped a devastating fire in March has reopened after a successful renovation.
Grade-II listed The Fancott, near Toddington, was open for business again last week and looks better than ever.
The pub, famous for its miniature railway, is even looking forward to hiring a replacement engine after the previous one was completely destroyed in the blaze.
Owner Paul Wallman said: “We’ve had to repaint and re-do everything, we’ve got the garden done and all of the kids’ equipment has been repaired.
“The whole kitchen area burnt down and an old barn on the right side of it caught fire, so we had to rebuild the cellar.”
The extensive renovation work has allowed the Fancott to improve some of its facilities, with added food storage space, a freezer room, and a large kitchen.
Paul said: “So, we’ve actually done well out of it in a funny sort of way. We’ve got a better system.”
Paul estimated the cost of the repair work nto be around £200,000.
In spite of the damage to the kitchen and outhouses, the main grade-II listed pub building, with its low ceilings and wooden beams, was spared from the fire.
Paul added: “It was really weird because the only bit of the building that caught fire was the extension that was added on in about 1999 or 2000.”
The fire broke out in an outbuilding at the back of the pub at around 3.40pm on Tuesday, March 3.
No-one was hurt in the fire. There were only a couple of members of staff and two or three customers present at the time.
Firefighters carried out an extensive salvage operation after the blaze and worked hard to ensure the rest of the building was saved.