The White Hart in East Street reopened on Friday lunchtime, in time for the Easter holiday weekend trade. The public house which dates back to the mid 15th Century was the original site of the George Inn before it relocated in the town and was at one time known as the Gun Inn. Successful local business woman Annabelle Boucher is the new landlady at the White Hart, with her partner Dave Rogers and family members helping the run the inn. Dave is no stranger to the pub trade as his mother and father, Sheila and Brian Rogers at one time ran the Blue Boy in Clapton and Nag’s Head in Crewkerne.
Annabelle Boucher, who already runs a successful riding school at Balham Hill Farm in Chiselborough and Dave Rogers, who runs a successful building company, were asked to take on the White Hart by the Swaffield family who own the premises. The White Hart unexpectedly closed in July 2018, when the landlord at that time, left two years before his five year tenancy ended.
Annabelle said: “We first looked at the White Hart in December last year, considered it for a while, and started cleaning and redecorating the inn in March. It is a family concern with everyone supporting and helping our new venture and Dave’s sister Julie is the cook. We already have six skittle teams signed up for our upstairs alley and are welcoming darts teams on Monday nights.”
A new addition, taking pride of place on the counter, which Dave discovered in an antique shop, is a statue of a stag symbolising the pub’s name with hart being the archaic word for an adult male deer. The White Hart is open Mondays to Thursdays from 4.30 pm – 11 pm, food served from 5 pm to 8.30 pm and on Fridays to Sundays from 11.30 am – 11 pm with food served lunchtimes from 12 noon to 2.30 pm and in the evenings from 5 pm until 9 pm. One of the visitors who called in at the weekend said: “A really vibrant addition to the Crewkerne scene. Hope you make a real success of it.” Although national statistics show that traditional pubs are still closing at an alarming rate, Crewkerne appears to be leading a welcome revival, with the recent reopening of the White Hart and another historic inn set to reopen in the coming months as a boutique hotel.