THE Bell Inn, in St John’s, Worcester, has been a popular watering hole for decades, so I decided to find out a bit more about it from those who know it best.

It was a court house before 1830, after which time it became a pub serving the community after a hard day’s graft.

Until the middle of the 19th century, St John’s was a village and a separate entity from Worcester and the area still has that village feel.

Angela Freeman took over the running of the pub around a year ago, after a previous career working in home care management.

Angela said: “Since I’ve taken over, we updated the beer garden and regulars donated items and helped with the reworking of the rear area.

“At the heart of the place is the customers – they give it life.

“It’s a friendly place and if someone walks in for the first time, we get chatting to them and they then tend to become regulars. We have a good range of local beers as we want to support local breweries.

“I know everyone by name and they know me.

“I love working here.”

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I got a drink and began chatting at the bar with Jeffrey Yeomans, who has been drinking at the pub for more than 40 years.

He works at Narraway’s Butcher’s shop and at Worcestershire County Cricket Club during the cricket season.

Mr Yeomans said: “If cricket or football fans ask me where is a good place to get a drink, I tell them this pub.

“At one time the side rooms were shops selling pretty much everything as well as the main room being a pub, so it was a focus for the area.

“I can remember coming here as a young man playing card games in this very side room we’re sitting in.

“Angela has really made the place her own and she is a really good manager and she’s made it nice by putting picture up all around.

“Prices are good – my drink’s cost just over £3 so I’m happy.

“You can buy alcohol at the supermarket and drink at home but I come out to be social as I enjoy chatting to people and seeing my friends.”

Chris Cunningham has been a regular for more than 10 years.

Chris said: “It’s one of the few pubs that has stood the test of time.

“There’s never any trouble here and it’s my local watering hole.

“It’s people that make a good pub.”

Jenni Jackson said: “I’ve been working here for 10 years and I just love coming here everyday and seeing the regulars like Chris.

“It’s a place where women can feel safe if they come in on their own as everyone is so friendly.”

The pub is apparently haunted by a ghostly spectre heard by some of the bar staff, possibly because of its former use as not just a court house – public hangings took place nearby.