THE Queen Elizabeth Inn has been crowned the Evesham Journal’s Pub of the Year.

Evesham drinkers and pub-goers will be raising a glass to the community run pub in Main Street after it took the top prize in our competition.

Neil Lavender-Jones, one of the pub volunteers, said the award was testament to hard working staff.

“We are very happy to hear we have won pub of the year,” he said.

“We have been blown away by the support, and we are just absolutely delighted.”

The history of this establishment is fascinating having taken its name from the visit of Queen Elizabeth I in 1575.

In 2008 the pub was bought by an individual, who conducted some much needed building work, after an extensive period of neglect. When the former landlady retired in 2014, a consortium of 26 local villagers took on a new lease, embarking on an extensive refurbishment programme, reopening the pub in December 2014.

“The efforts of the community to keep the pub going have been rewarded with this prestigious honour," he added.

Support for the Elmley Castle pub shone through as it received praise on the nominations slips that flooded into the Evesham Journal office.

Among the reasons for nomination, readers said the pub was a "quaint English pub steeped in history", and a "cute little pub".

Another reader said it was "a good meeting place and the food is good too" while another wrote it was "run by the village and a real community hub for get-togethers".

And one reader said on their slip: "It was saved from closing by the villagers - a very good local with a good choice of drinks and good food, at the right price".

The winner receives a coveted trophy and an invite to the Houses of Parliament by the town's MP Nigel Huddleston.

The Fish and Anchor, on the banks of the River Avon in Offenham, was the runner up in the competition, while the third highest number of votes went to the Old Swanne Inne in High Street.

Michael Purton, Evesham Journal editor, said: "The competition has proved a massive success with readers. Congratulations to everyone at the Queen Elizabeth."