A thriving pub that was taken over by the community has been given a top honour by those who are passionate about pubs. 

The White Lion at Broadwindsor, near Beaminster, which only re-opened in April last year, was crowned West Dorset Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA's) Pub of the Year.

As reported, it was annouced at the Dorchester Beerex. 

The hostelry's success story was hailed a 'tremendous community effort' by West Dorset CAMRA's chairman Bruce Mead.

A local management team run and oversee the day to day routine at the White Lion.

Kate Staff and her daughters Chloe and Louise have worked tirelessly to ensure the pub offers the best the local community can get. 

The pub was re-opened following an approach by Palmers Brewery to the local parish council to see if the community would be interested in running it.

The brewery still supports the pub but its finances were bolstered by a significant fund raising effort with the main driving force from the late David Leader, who sadly passed away in March before the pub reopened.

Pub manager Kate Staff said: “It’s a real honour to get this award and I would like to dedicate it to the late David Leader. This venture would not have happened without his tireless determination and enthusiasm for doing great things for the community.

"It has been our priority to make The White Lion a success and to make David’s vision a reality. Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way.”

Kate and her team will now go forward into the next stage of the competition the Wessex region final, where they will face strong competition from pubs from the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, East Dorset, Wiltshire and the Channel Islands.

West Dorset Campaign for Real Ale Chair Bruce Mead said: ”It was fantastic the pub re-opened after a tremendous community effort, the White Lion at Broadwindsor is a fine example of a traditional country village  pub and a clear winner of our pub of the year competition.”

The pub has been totally refurbished internally and hosts many events such as live music, carol singing, fund raisers, quizzes, and bingo nights.

There are also themed food nights, Sunday roasts with guest chefs, breakfasts and quizzes. 

One of the regular community events at The White Lion is the monthly Farmers’ Breakfast.

The next breakfast is on Thursday, March 2 when the guest speaker will be talking about mental health in the farming communities.

With the rising cost of energy the pub has been declared a local warm hub from 11am to 5pm on Saturdays until further notice, with free tea, coffee and newspapers.

Broadwindsor Community Pub chairman Rick Dyke said the White Lion has had 'a busy few weeks' and paid tribute to the hard work of all those, including committee members, who are getting stuck in as volunteers.

The pub’s quest continues for a new front of house person and chef to run the Palmers’ inn now that the previous management team has moved on.