A St Ives man working on the rebuilding of a pub that was burnt to the ground last year has an extra special motive in making sure the new building is perfect.
Philip Lloyd was devastated when he heard the Hartford Mill had burnt down in August last year as just a few months earlier the venue’s function room, which survived the blaze but was smoke damaged, played host to his wedding reception following his marriage to Mandy.
A year after his wedding, Mr Lloyd, who has worked for Huntingdon building firm Orientrose for six years, is four weeks into the 19-week rebuild of the Fayre and Square pub.
The 42-year-old, of Slepe Court, said: “A friend of mine called me up when I was working in Potters Bar and told me the Mill had burnt down. Builders have a history of bad jokes so I rang my wife and asked her to turn on the news to see if it was true.
“She rang a colleague who said it had burnt down. It was quite upsetting for her as we got married there a year ago tomorrow, and she also had worked there for three years.
“It also meant a lot to me as 11 months before Mandy joined me down here, I was living on a boat on the marina, so the pub socially was a big part of my life.
“I felt so sorry for [landlords] Colin and Kim. They were very lucky people to get out.”
Cleaner Keith Hill raised the alarm in the early hours of August 8 after spotting the fire and managed to get landlord Colin Woodcock, wife Kim and their children out to safety.
Mr Lloyd added: “It’s great to see the building coming back and that I’m working on it.
“It’s also brilliant to be working four miles down the road, normally we work all over the country.
“At all jobs we put in everything we’ve got and make it perfect, which is why we get all of our jobs. But certainly for me it does make you go the extra mile when it means a lot to you.”
Alan Brookes, managing director of Orientrose, said it was nice to get the pub back up and running.