More Help Wanted!

More Help Wanted!

*A quick word about the Macmillan quiz night on the 23rd Feb. at the Village Hall. The response has been fantastic and places have filled up fast- we now have a full contingent of 12 teams! However if you have missed out you can still register your interest, Amanda is looking to see if she can squeeze in another one or even two teams so there may yet be some more spaces. See our blog post here for how to register.*

In November last year we put out a call for volunteers to help Colin and Amanda clear the rubbish and brambles from the grounds of the Black Horse. On a bright but chilly Sunday 26th November an enthusiastic group from the village spent most of the day working very hard clearing brambles and the ditch and pond at the back of the pub. There was a real community spirit, everyone enjoyed working together and Colin and Amanda provided hot drinks and snacks throughout the day.

In the end a huge amount was achieved but there is still more to do – the pond still needs more clearing (and digging out of the last bits of rubbish) as well as more general clearing and tidying, so we are again asking the community if they can come along on this Sunday the 18th February to help out again. As before, just drop by the Black Horse when you can make it and for as long as you can help, any time between 10am and 3pm. Some of the Black Horse Steering Committee will be there to lend a hand and we hope others might like to come along to help and burn a few (more) calories for a good cause!

Amanda says:

Please remind people to be suitably dressed (old clothes, strong footwear) and if they could bring gloves, secateurs and spades for digging that would be great. We will provide refreshments (the least we can do!) we also provided snacks (hot dogs, mince pies etc) last time and will do so again.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the last event.

Quiz Night Friday 23rd February

Quiz Night Friday 23rd February

Happy New Year to all! – The Black Horse, Black Horse Steering Group and Lord Conrad’s Brewery invite you to get a team together for the


The World’s Largest Simultaneous Quiz!

To be held at the Village Hall on Friday 23rd February 2018

Quiz starts promptly at 7.45pm

Teams of up to 6 (we should be able to make up teams for smaller numbers)

£12 per person to include a buffet supper

Lord Conrad’s Bar open from 6-11pm for a range of beers, wine, prosecco and soft drinks

Please register your team by Monday 19th February by emailing Colin and Amanda at: 

There will be a raffle on the evening so that we can raise as much as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support. Donation of raffle prizes welcome! Please drop them in to The Black Horse or bring along on the evening.

See you there!

29th December Pop-Up Pub

29th December Pop-Up Pub

As 2017 draws to a close we are very pleased to bring news of one last pop-up pub to be held in Dry Drayton Village Hall on the 29th December from 6pm-11pm, with food provided by 400 Degrees Pizzeria serving 6-9pm.

Lord Conrad’s Brewery will again be serving a selection of excellent local beverages:

2 draught ales
1 lager
Medium and dry cider
White and red wine
J2O soft drinks

2017 has been a significant year for Dry Drayton’s last pub and we’d like to thank everyone again for their help and support during our campaign to save it. We’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year, and we hope to see you on the 29th.

Help Wanted!

Help Wanted!

Colin and Amanda are making good progress with the Black Horse and we will have an update to share with everyone at our pup-up pub on the 24th November (this Friday) with a more detailed progress report.

They are now turning their attention to clearing and improving the land around the building and would like to ask if any members of the community would be able to come and volunteer to help clearing the pond and drainage ditch areas around the Black Horse on Sunday the 26th November (this Sunday!) any time between 10am and 3pm – just drop by the Black Horse when you can make it and for as long as you can help. Some of the Black Horse Steering Committee will be there to lend a hand and we hope others might like to come along to help and burn a few calories for a good cause!

Colin says: “The areas to be cleared have nettles and brambles and there appears to be all sorts of rubbish around the pond, so strong gloves and protective clothing would be advisable. If people could bring secateurs and loppers that would be great, and if anyone has a petrol strimmer it would be helpful perhaps to clear that part of the meadow. We cannot see very easily what is in the ditch as it is so overgrown but there are definitely more brambles, so this is going to be a big task (and a big ask!) We will provide refreshments throughout the day (and lots of hot drinks!) and would be grateful for anyone’s help, even if it is only half an hour.

Note that the weather currently looks cold and dry for Sunday but if it turns bad the event will be cancelled and re-scheduled, hopefully that won’t be the case and we look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday!



It’s time to bring you news of our next pop-up pub event on:


The format will be largely the same as before with Lord Conrad’s brewery providing the bar and volunteers from the Black Horse Steering Group and the wider Dry Drayton community providing the food and running the event. We will be serving curry and rice with naan and condiments, medium, mild and vegetarian. Standard plates £5 and small plates £3. At 8pm we will as usual say a few words – we are hoping to have some news on how the pub renovations are coming along, and also will update everyone on future pop-up events and take any questions and suggestions people may have.

Drinks for the event will be: Golden Gate lager 4%, Lobster Licker 4.2%, Spiffing Wheeze 3.9%, Cider will be mixed bottles 6% to 6.7%, wine (shiraz and pinot), soft drinks (J20, Pepsi).

We would like to thank everyone who attended our Halloween pop-up on the 28th October. It was a great event and again we had a record crowd and sold out of food even though we’d prepared over 100 portions this time around! The Village Hall was completely full and everyone seemed to be enjoying the food and the company, as well as the fantastic Halloween decorations!

At 8pm Colin O’Neill got up on stage and introduced Amanda and himself, as well as giving the audience plenty of detail on how the pub renovations are progressing (slowly but surely) and what is planned (revamped decor, an evening pub, cafe during the day, home cooked food at reasonable prices and good news – new toilets!). Everyone seemed impressed, and we think Colin and Amanda are going to be fantastic new members of our community.

We have had a few questions about where the profits from the pop-up events are going. We have made a small profit at the last two events and we are using these profits to help offset the costs incurred in our save the pub campaign to date. Once our campaign ends (once the pub re-opens) if there are any profits left over Dry Drayton Community Enterprises will look to use them to benefit the community in some way.

And finally, Lord Conrad’s Brewery are working on organising one final pop-up pub for 2017 (provisionally the 29th December) which we will bring you more news of in due course. Depending on how the pub renovations progress and hence when the pub is likely to reopen we may consider running more pop-up events in the new year – so watch this space and see you on the 24th!

Halloween Pop-Up 28th October

Halloween Pop-Up 28th October

Our pop-up pub on the 29th September was a roaring success and we want to thank everyone who turned out to join us and enjoy the beer, curry (and wine). We would also like to extend a special thank you to those who spent the evening setting up the venue, serving food, clearing up after the event and also, very importantly, to those who cooked. I’m sure everyone will agree that the food was excellent – we served over 100 portions and sold out; our apologies to those who turned up a little late and found it was all gone!

We had a fantastic evening and the overwhelming response when we asked the crowd if we should hold another pop-up event was a resounding yes – so here we are again with news of the next pop-up event on Saturday the 28th October, 4pm-11pm, Dry Drayton Village Hall. Food will be served from 6pm to 8pm.

The event will follow a similar format – this time we’ll be serving home-made beef (and veggie) chilli with rice, medium and mild, again £5 for a standard serving and £3 for a small. Jon from Lord Conrad’s will be joining us again and providing the pub side of things, with all our favorite beers to look forward to. There will also be wine and soft drinks available for those who are less keen on beer.

Colin and Amanda O’Neill, the new tenants of the Black Horse, will be joining us for the event and are keen to say hello and meet everyone so please come along and show them your support! At about 8pm we’ll have a brief update on the pub and Colin and Amanda will introduce themselves.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again for what we hope will be another great community get-together, please put Saturday the 28th October in your diaries!

**UPDATE** – Drinks for the evening will be:

Ales: Horny Goat (pale), Conkerwood (black) (V),
Lager: Golden Hare
Cider: Warm mulled by the cup. Bottles of Much Merry and Scratter’s
Wine: white – Pino Grigio, red – TBD.
Soft drinks: Pepsi, J2O


Pop-up News

Pop-up News

Due to circumstances beyond our control we’ve had to bring the Pop-Up pub forward one day to **FRIDAY 29th September** – please update your diaries!

Our local brewery, Lord Conrad’s, will be serving ales and cider from 4pm-11pm, and we’ve been told there are a few bottles of the ‘Save The Black Horse’ special beer left which will also be sold on a first-come first-served basis (get in quick if you want some!).

We will be serving curry (with rice) from 6pm-8pm. We’ll have standard and small sized servings of meat and veggie options, mild and medium – so hopefully something for everyone to warm themselves with now the weather is getting colder. Standard servings will be £5 and small servings £3. Any profit will be used to offset the costs incurred in our campaign.

At about 8pm we will have a brief update on what we know about the new tenants and their plans for the pub, as well as what we plan to do now the Black Horse is going to be re-opened. We have made contact with the new tenants, Colin and Amanda O’Neill, who are currently working very hard getting the pub ready to re-open (hopefully) before the end of the year. They have told us their plan is to re-open as a pub serving food and also plan to open during the day providing a cafe service. We would like to extend our warmest welcome to Colin and Amanda and wish them well with their new enterprise!

Our sincere apologies for the date change. We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone at the pop-up event, updating people on what is happening and enjoying a drink or two in support of the Black Horse.

See you on **FRIDAY 29th SEPTEMBER in Dry Drayton Village Hall!**

P.S. the drinks menu for the evening will be:

Golden Hare 4% lager
Old Brown Mouse 4.2% old English brown bitter
Conkerwood 4.5% black coffee and liquorice porter
Spiffing Wheeze 3.9% pale ale with lemongrass
Angry Wasp cider 6.5% dry
Local soft juice drinks

Lease Sold!

Lease Sold!

At our public meeting on the 4th August we mentioned rumors that the lease for the Black Horse was about to be sold, but we had no substantive evidence this was the case. Yesterday we were made aware of a removals van outside the pub and today we have a sign saying lease sold – so the rumors appear to have been true!

We have not yet made contact with the new tenants but are looking forward to meeting them and hearing their plans for the pub. We hope our efforts so far will help guide them in what services they provide and we will be on hand to help and advise as needed.

So what next? For now we are carrying on as normal, but will review the situation as we get more information. We will of course keep everyone updated via our blog, social media and newsletter at this exciting time.

A big thank you once again to everyone who has come with us on this journey so far – having raised £200,000 in pledges to date we’ve proved beyond doubt (to South Cambs District Council, as well as ourselves!) that we do not want to lose our pub. We have also really enjoyed getting together with so many of you over a pint or chatting at meetings or events.

**NOTE we will still be holding our pop-up pub on the 30th September 5-11pm in the Village Hall**

On the 30th we will also give a short update on what is happening and hopefully by this point we can start looking forward to getting together again for a pint at the Black Horse!

-The Black Horse Steering Group

We Have a Business Plan!

We Have a Business Plan!

Today we’ve published the first version of our business plan, which can be found on our PLEDGE page!

It’s been quite a while in the making as we have been putting all the pieces together, creating the financial models, consulting with our experts and writing it all up to our satisfaction. We believe it is now reflects our vision for the pub, and is ready for general release.

We’d also like to remind people that we are still taking pledges, and still need to get as close to our £250,000 target as we can. Hopefully anyone who was waiting to read the business plan before pledging now has all the information they need to make a decision.

As usual, if there are any questions about the business plan (or any aspect of our efforts) please drop us an email, or we’ll be very happy to chat at the pop-up-pub this weekend! – the Black Horse Steering Group will be attending the event and at least one of us should be around.

You can email us at the usual address:

Black Horse Beer, Bottle shop and Pop-Up Pub!

Black Horse Beer, Bottle shop and Pop-Up Pub!

This week we have news of our next bank holiday pop-up pub this weekend, in aid of saving the Black Horse, at Lord Conrad’s brewery, Saturday to Monday (26-28th August) inclusive from 2pm-10pm, including pop-up pizza on the Sunday and Monday.

This event will also include specially brewed Save the Black Horse ale! We’ve been informed this is a 3.5% ABV pale, slightly hazy beer with passion fruit notes at first followed by satisfying hoppy finish. But don’t just take our word for it, you can visit Lord Conrad’s bottle shop this week which is at the brewery and open from Tuesday the 22nd through Monday the 28th August from 11am-6pm where you can stock up on Save the Black Horse Ale along with other Lord Conrad’s favorites!

During the bottle shop and pop-up pub we will be selling Save the Black Horse tankards, in aid of saving the pub. Purchasing one of these fine pieces of merchandise will not only help us in our mission but also gain the buyer six tokens, each of which give 50 pence off the purchase of a pint at the pop-up pub!

Our graphics whizz kid Ed has produced this marvelous poster for the pop-up event (click the image to download a PDF version):

Members of the Black Horse Steering Group will be around during the pop-up pub and we hope to see many of you there – as usual we’d be delighted to chat and answer any questions.

A final note to remind people that we are still taking pledges, and still need to get as close to our £250,000 target as we can. For those waiting to read our business plan, we are nearly there now and hope to have this published in the next few days (watch this space).