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First look inside pub rising from ashes after being devastated by fire

PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 03 December 2019

General Manager Katy Blake and her team are looking forward to welcoming customers back  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

General Manager Katy Blake and her team are looking forward to welcoming customers back Picture: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

A historic pub is ready to rise from the ashes after a devastating fire left a community without its heart.

The Ship has come a long way since it was devastated by fire in March  Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe Ship has come a long way since it was devastated by fire in March Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Ship Inn at Levington, could re-open this weekend after an eight month long closure.

"It feels like the community is really ready for it to re-open," said Katy Blake, general manager for the Ship.

"The amount of people who have stopped by has been lovely."

The pub has undergone a transformation in recent months after the fire gutted the roof of the pub as well as part of the first floor.

The Ship has been redecorated Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe Ship has been redecorated Picture: RACHEL EDGE

As well as having a new roof, there have been a number of other improvements at the property - including a new stove, as well as redecoration throughout the pub and kitchen.

There have also been other changes at the pub in the past few months.

Whilst it was closed, the pub changed hands - with Deben Inns announcing it would be taking over the lease of the site from Adnams back in September.

After months of uncertainty as to when the pub would re-open Ms Blake said that hopes were high that the pub would re-open this weekend, in time for the Christmas period.

Much of the work has taken place on the pub's roof Picture: RACHEL EDGEMuch of the work has taken place on the pub's roof Picture: RACHEL EDGE

More than 40 firefighters spent hours dealing with the blaze at the Grade II listed establishment.

Investigations into the cause of the fire found that it was most likely to have been accidental and caused by a burning ember from the pub's chimney.

Ms Blake said staff were just putting the finishing touches to the establishment and were hopeful The Ship would be ready.

"It's nice to see it coming together," said Ms Blake.

"It is actually looking like a pub now."

Work to rebuild the establishment began back in June, with hopes high that the pub could be re-opened by the end of the year.

Much of the work at The Ship Inn has been focused on replacing the structure's roof, which was destroyed by the fire.

Deben Inns already operates two other Adnams pubs - The Maybush at Waldringfield and The Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill.

This year's blaze was the third serious fire at the pub in recent years, with incidents having previously taken place in 2001 and also the late 1980s.

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