A Chirnside consortium has come together to breathe new life into the village’s oldest pub.
The Waterloo Arms has been a draw for locals since 1825, only a few years after the battle that gave the pub its name.
And the name was one of the first things to return, after previous owners had changed it to the Chirnside Inn.
“We had to do that, straight away,” said Jo Stewart, one of the new owners, “just to let people know that ‘their’ pub had returned, in a way.”
Mick Low, one of the eight-strong group of new owners, said that the group’s experience “on the other side of the bar” is coming in handy in their new venture.
“It’s been very successful so far and is proving very popular with local folk,” he said.
Those local folk were crucial to the redecoration of the main bar, which had been less than hospitable before the takeover.
The interior of the Waterloo has been almost completely overhauled, and the bar has even been reconfigured to provide more social space.
“What was great about the work was that so many local people just came in and helped, picked up a paintbrush or whatever,” said Jo.
Regulars will be relieved to hear that among the new decor there remains the calendar from a Victorian-era drink supplier, featuring a contented lady in a long white dress. She has been said to bring bad luck to anybody who moves her.
“So, we’ve left her in her rightful place,” laughed Jo.
Mick went on: “We’re stocked with some nice real ales that are proving very popular, and other things are taking us by surprise. For example, I never thought that Amaretto and lemonade would be this popular.”
And the new owners are optimistic that their watering hole will go from strength to strength.
“The next thing is to finish off the rooms upstairs so they can be let out,” said Mick. “With the rush to get open, they had to be left for a little while.”
Jo added: “Along with that, we’re looking to be offering traditional pub food as well.”