WHEN the Hog at Horsley got a Covid ping on its busiest weekend of the year, kind hearted regulars stepped in to help.

The pub team had been gearing up for the August bank holiday weekend, with special food, drinks and live music planned for each day.

The Honeychurch family, who took over the pub during lockdown last year, were hopeful that the busy weekend would go some way to help them recover after the financial losses from lockdown closures.

But then on the Friday (August 27), a member of staff tested positive for Covid and the pub had to shut with immediate effect.

Announcing the closure on social media, co-owner Luke Honeychurch said: "We’re absolutely gutted to have to do this, especially on a bank holiday weekend - we had food, music and sunshine all booked and were hoping this weekend would go some way to help us recover after the last year and a half of financial uncertainty."

On hearing the news, Horsley residents wanted do all they could to help the Hog, which they say they 'have come to rely on it as the focal point for the village'.

Residents Chris and James decided to set up a crowdfunding page (bit.ly/3BGmsVe), to try and make up for the pub losing its biggest earning weekend of the year.

The page reads: "We all know the Hog and have come to rely on it as the focal point for the village.

"They have tried hard to stay open with whatever restrictions have been thrown at them.

"The busiest weekend of the year has now been taken from them as one of the team has tested positive forcing a close of at least 10 days.

"The place would of been busy all weekend with sunshine, music food and drink all organised and being planned. Only to be taken away as the last minute.

"This weekend would have really helped in recouping some of the lost revenue from the last year. So as a community lets show them a little support. I know I'd of spent a few pounds in there this weekend."

Chris and James set a fundraising target of £400, but a whopping £2,210 has already been donated.

The Honeychurch family said they were totally overwhelmed by the gesture.

Luke said: "We want to say a huge thank you to Chris and James for setting it up and to all of you for being so generous. And more than that, for showing us such a huge amount of love whilst we’re locked up, poorly and missing you all."

The pub is now due to reopen on Tuesday, September 7.