A VILLAGE pub that was badly damaged by a fire less than two years ago has been named Surrey winner in the National Pub & Bar of the Year awards.

A blaze broke out in The Cricketers on the Green in Pirbright in August 2020, just over a month after it reopened after the first pandemic lockdown closure.

The fire, late on a Saturday evening, started in the kitchen extension and spread to the roof. The fire was dealt with by firefighters, but a few hours later a second fire broke out, causing severe damage to the roof.

The Cricketers on The Green has not only recovered from the fires but has become one of just 94 county winners across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the national awards.

Jason Myers, the owner of The Cricketers on the Green, who described the fire as “soul-destroying”, said he is delighted with the award.

“After what we have all been through over the past two years, it is wonderful for the whole team and the community here in Pirbright,” Jason said.

The pub is a community hub for the village, specialising in food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served from 9am to 11pm. As well as the main building, there is the Yurt Café, which serves breakfast, brunch and lunch and hosts performing arts.

The Cricketers on the Green will compete against the seven other South East county winners for the regional title and then one of the 15 regional winners will be named overall National Pub & Bar of the Year.

Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event, said: “Just from being out in these venues, you can see how much pubs and bars mean to people across the UK.

“With visitor numbers increasing, it’s more important than ever for operators to deliver a standout service during every visit – no matter the business in question.

“These 94 county winners are wonderful examples of the brilliance of today’s pubs.”

The award ceremony is in London on 22 June.