LONG nights working behind the bar paid off at the weekend at the official reopening off Criftins Parish Hall near Ellesmere.

John Baker and Anthony Gillam, together with other volunteers, spent their winter evenings dismantling the pub's old bar and putting in a replacement as part of the total refurbishment of the building, including kitchen and function rooms.

John, chairman of the Criftins Parish Hall group, said: "We started 12 months ago from zero when it had gone nearly bankrupt.

"We had one private donation of £5,000 and we then went to the landowners who pointed us towards different funding opportunities.

"We applied to the Prince's Fund and were lucky enough to get £25,000 towards the total refurbishment for the new pub to generate income and the parish council gave £10,000 towards the kitchen.

"We've had money from Tesco through Bags of Help and Persimmon Homes and WH Smith and we're still waiting on the Co-op scheme.

"Alongside that we have had hundreds of hours of volunteer help so this coffee morning was a thank you to all those who helped."