IT'S a pub at the heart of the community - more so than ever before.

'The Key and Anchor in Freemantle has reopened following its lengthy lockdown with landlord and landlady Ady and Kelly Vincent again at the helm.

The couple took over the traditional pub two years ago after making the transition from locals to serving behind the bar.

"It's always been a community pub," said Kelly. "Myself and my husband drank her for 15 years and when the opportunity came we decided to take the bull by the horns and make a go of it."

While Ady had some experience in the trade, Kelly had just been made redundant after 36 years working for John Lewis when the pub became available in the summer of 2018.

"What could be so difficult about pulling a few pints I thought," laughs Kelly. "How wrong was I?!"

An interior makeover of the pub, retaining the East End pub feel, was completed in February and Kelly has used lockdown to work on the now revamped garden.

They have enjoyed welcoming regulars back in the past few weeks.

"The community have really kept us going, they've been so supportive. They haven't gone anywhere else, they've come back to us and it's great that we're seeing quite a lot of new faces as well.

"Whatever is going on upstairs, once you walk into the bar, you need to be available for your punters. Sometimes they just need someone to talk to. More often than not, the customers actually come in to see the people."

The Key and Anchor has been a pub since 1845 when it was popular with sailors due to its location on Millbrook Road East, close to The Docks.

These days it continues to be a 'proper pub' which will reintroduce its popular quiz nights, bingo and meat draws soon.

Ady has been given awards by Guinness for pouring the perfect pint.

Carlsberg and San Miguel are the most popular lagers while there are also plenty of staunch ale drinkers among the locals. Fizz, flavoured gins and ciders are proving popular this summer.