The new landlady of a historic mariners’ haunt says she is determined to sail it out of the doldrums. The Anchor Hotel in Test Lane, Redbridge, Southampton, foundered in 2011 after more than 300 years.
And although opening soon after, it has lacked a landlord who has stayed the course.
But Juliann Graham, who has spent nearly three decades in the pub trade, is determined to steer the Grade II listed premises to sunnier horizons. She said: “I want to make it back into a traditional English pub for local people.
“There used to be four pubs in the area now there is just us and The Ship Inn.”
But she says she does not want to compete with the Ship but rather offer an alternative. Pub owners, brewers Marstons, are set to give the pub a facelift in February while Juliann is busy organising a packed calendar of activities.
Starting on Saturday there will be regular car boot sale in the car park and she hopes to make use of an upstairs function room and breathe life into the garden with fun days in the summer plus tug-o-war events.
The Anchor can trace its roots back to the early 18th century, at the highest navigable part of the River Test and opposite the stone bridge carrying the old road in and out of Southampton from the west, shown on an 1855 engraving of the scene.
New Forest drovers would drive their animals across the bridge to market in the city and the rural community would “drop anchor” at The Anchor for refreshment.