“When you leave the graveside of Winston Churchill, in the Cotswold village of Bladon, you head down a small path past the primary school set up by the Duke of Marlborough in 1858,” local Bladon resident Mike Edwards says.

“Before you arrive at Bladon’s own gate into the grounds of Blenheim Palace, you cross the Woodstock to Witney road at The White House pub. The pub where Churchill “learned to drink” during his time in Blenheim Palace.”

With councillor Ian Hudspeth

“Now that Greene King has made the decision to place the pub on the disposal list, Bladon locals have followed the example of The White House’s most revered patron, Sir Winston, by forming our own War Cabinet and society to keep this Churchillian centre to our village open,” head of fundraising Mike says.

Villagers now have six months to raise the £495,000 required to buy the pub for the community, when the lease becomes available in April 2020.

“The community of Bladon want their pub to be the hub of the community, however, additional significant investment is needed to save this pub,” Mike says.

If they raise the money, The Bladon Community Pub group envisage giving the pub a more traditional look for villagers and tourists alike with a good pub menu. “We also want to link it back with its Churchillian roots,” Mike says.

If the money is raised, the organisers expect to then lease it out on a package, backed by the local community.

‘We have taken the well-trodden route of successfully listing Winston’s White House as a Community Asset and, with the support from Blenheim Palace, intend to purchase and run Winston’s watering hole within the community for everyone now, and for future generations.

“This is a chance to be part of Winston’s White House. This is not a charity. In the UK nearly 100 pubs have been taken over by the community and every one of them continues to thrive. Funds invested will be secured against the bricks and mortar. Within the terms of the agreement we aim to pay interest to shareholders and shares may be withdrawn on request. More importantly, you are a part of Winston’s White House,” Mike adds. 

“We are already on the visitors’ trail between Blenheim Place and Churchill’s last resting place, but we now intend to welcome them in, alongside our community, to share in this part of our history.”

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