A fantastic community spirit was guaranteed at a Herefordshire village pub opening last week - because the community own it.

The Bell at Yarpole has become one the UK's most famous inns after it was saved from being bulldozed for housing by local people who banded together to keep it as a pub.

And last Friday the successful campaign to save it was marked by an official opening party that saw more than 200 people pack the place.

Locals have actually been packing it for a few weeks now, happy that the drinks and meals they are enjoying are helping to sustain a business they may well have bought shares in.

The Bell is owned by Mortimer Community Benefit Society, with more than 200 shareholders helping to raise the £275,000 purchase price.

They bought it last September, three months after it shut, and the pub re-opened on February 7 after a redesign.

New tenants Carole (Caz) Dare and Sally Milsom have been building up the business since and on Friday held a 'Grand Opening' to say a thank you to all those in the community who have been so helpful.

"It was absolutely amazing," said Sal. "We had over 200 people from all over the community.

"Everyone was here to support it and we had a really nice, family-friendly atmosphere."

The opening lasted from 4pm till after midnight, with juggle puppets for the children, tea and cake, Irish folk music and the Head Honcho band from Leominster.

Caz and Sal, who were tenants in Leominster before the move, have created a business plan to sustain the pub.

There is real ale and Caz's home-made food on offer, but also regular events, including folk nights, Irish music, a quiz, and a monthly 'lunch bunch' for locals.

So far business is better than expected but Sal reckons what will ensure success is what it is all about - keeping it a community pub.

For info: thebellatyarpole.co.uk

To support the society visit themortimercbs.org.