The White Lion On Radio Solent

Our Community Pub, The White Lion opens tomorrow (Friday,29th) at 6pm 🙂

If you are up early enough in the morning, please tune in to Radio Solent at 7.05am – Click HERE for the link – and you will hear Chairman Rick Dyke being interviewed. If you missed it – listen below.

Later at 8.05am,  village resident, Izzy Masey will be giving views from the community’s perspective and our resident poet, Peter Roe will recite his poem, written specifically for this occasion ‘Heart of a Lion‘ which is added below…

We have learned
from ages past
That hope and heart
and courage lasts
This beating heart
of wood and stone
A redoubt of place
for our village soul
A bastion of community
A centre for connection
participation, commiseration
and joyous celebration
Shelter from the storm
Take time to think
By our hearth
take food and drink
Reflect on the journey
Those that led and fell
Those valiant hearts
whose tales we’ll tell
On this small spot
of England’s ground
As long as people
gather round
About the Lionheart…
that lives in England still
This beating pulse
of a communities will
This White Lion…
This lions heart…
This Broadwindsor!

Peter Roe – April 2022

The pub will be open from:

  • Tuesday to Friday, from 6pm -11pm,
  • Saturdays, 11am- 11pm
  • Sundays, 12 noon – 10.30pm.

On Tuesday nights, the pub will not be serving food but customers are welcome to take in their fish and chips from Nat’s van that comes to the village every week.


The White Lion Broadwindsor Roars Back To Life

The White Lion at Broadwindsor will be reopening as a Community pub on Friday, 29th April at 6pm.

It follows months of negotiations with owners Palmers Brewery, a hugely successful public fundraising campaign and weeks of hard work by volunteers to refurbish the West Dorset village’s only public house.

The campaign had been spearheaded by parish council vice-chairman David Leader, who died suddenly last month at the age of 64.

Rick Dyke, Chairman of the White Lion Management Committee, said: ‘Without David’s energy, enthusiasm and diplomacy, we would not be about to reopen the pub. We hope that The White Lion will become the community hub that David envisaged.

He paid tribute to the local community which has so generously supported the committee’s fundraising efforts.

He added: ‘I’d also like to thank the many volunteers who have so freely given their time to help with the refurbishment, some of whom have been almost living in the pub in recent months. They know who they are!
I am sure everyone who visits The White Lion will agree that the transformation has been remarkable. I’d also like to thank all the committee members who have given so much of their time, knowledge and experience in delivering this project.

Around £50,000 was raised for refurbishment and working capital through public donations, grants, funding from the Parish Council, a contribution from Palmers Brewery and events, including a band night and two themed food evenings. A pop-up bar in the village hall (The Comrades Arms) has been running since October and raised nearly £10,000.

The tenancy agreement for The White Lion was signed by committee members on 14th February. Work has been going on behind the scenes ever since to get the pub ready to open.

Manager Kate Staff, whose parents live locally, will be running the pub with her daughters, Chloe and Louise. They met the community at an open evening in the pub in February when visitors had the opportunity to find out more about the refurbishment and future plans.

Since then, Kate has been leading the volunteer decorating team in transforming the interior into a lighter and brighter space.

It’s lovely to be a part of this amazing project,’ she said. ‘We’re really looking forward to opening the doors and welcoming customers back into the pub.
We want The White Lion to be the kind of place where people can meet up with family and friends or feel comfortable to come in on their own. The White Lion has played a central role in village life over the years so long may that continue

Initially, the pub will be open only for drinks until new equipment is installed in the kitchen. But it’s hoped that it won’t be long before the pub is serving food again.

The White Lion aims to be modestly profitable but not for private profit, offering food and drink with an emphasis on local produce.  The atmosphere is intended to be warm and friendly and a hub for the community.

The pub will be open from:

  • Tuesday to Friday, from 6pm -11pm,
  • Saturdays, 11am- 11pm
  • Sundays, 12 noon – 10.30pm.

On Tuesday nights, the pub will not be serving food but customers are welcome to take in their fish and chips from Nat’s van that comes to the village every week.



Last Orders At The Comrades Arms – Tuesday, 19th April

A message from Andrew Hookings:

After six months since we re-opened The Comrades Arms, it is now time to call last orders. So, next Tuesday, 19th April will be our last night.
During that time a number of people from our community have volunteered to help behind the bar, and I thank them for all their time and help.
You, our customers have supported the bar and enabled us to raise almost £10,000 towards the refurbishment of The White Lion – so a BIG THANK YOU to all of you too.
I hope you will all give the newly furbished community pub – The White Lion at Broadwindsor, together with Kate, our manager along with her team of Chloe and Louise, all your support and I trust you will enjoy many happy times there.


Andrew leaves the village next weekend to spend the next few months in France with Margery. Margery will be providing an update on The White Lion next week, which is expected to include their opening date! Exciting times 🙂

We wish Andrew and Margery (& Edgar) safe travel and to them both…

A Great Big Thank You!


The White Lion Sub-Group Now A ‘Community Sub-Committee’

In response to the many questions being asked on several occasions, it would appear that the sub-group have become a Community Sub-Committee and are creating another questionnaire

The White Lion Community Sub-committee:


The community sub-committee comprises Sara Dyke, Izzy Masey, Annie Bowman and Dorothy Rowe and has met 3 times to date. Their first meeting involved “brainstorming” every possible community use of the space within the pub both out of and within licensing hours.

From this meeting a draft consultation questionnaire was devised ready for distribution once the pub is open. The farming community was contacted and likewise Rev Jo for feedback and ideas for pub use.

It should be stressed that the intention is to complement the use of Comrades Hall rather than to compete with it. 

The refurbishment of the pub will create a versatile area which can be used as a community space as well as a traditional pub, although the business’s long-term viability depends on it being a successful pub first and foremost and this remains our priority.

The sub-committee have also visited the Axminster Waffle House which runs as a community not for profit cafe and runs community groups and outreach work for community benefit which could be duplicated here in Broadwindsor.

The hope is to release the questionnaire once the pub has opened and have a community notice board within the pub for residents to also have their say. Collaboration with Kate regarding her time and ability to host/facilitate new ventures is also crucial. 

The sub-committee is mindful of getting a community space absolutely right and will be thinking carefully about what can realistically be delivered, to start slowly and then gain momentum. The pub will be a truly community pub to be used by all as we have all worked so hard and donated so generously for this vision.


Rick Dyke
Chairman, The White Lion Management Committee



The White Lion – Update #13

The White Lion Management Committee met yesterday and the following was discussed:


  • The refurb is going very well, with work going on this week on painting the bar.
  • Installing the floor in the bar.
  • Creating an upholstered bench seat.

We are in desperate need of people to prep, sand and paint the rear corridor and toilets as soon as possible.
Please call into the pub if you can help.

Kitchen equipment update:

  • All in hand, with a view to using Palmers purchasing power.

Drinks product range:

  • Detailed discussions underway on range and pricing, taking into account price rises from 1st April.

Music system:

Further fundraising:

  • Although the pub’s future is secured, further fundraising will be necessary along the way for other items. For example, Phase 2 will include refurbishment of the courtyard garden.


  • Palmers are swapping some of the furniture to replace it with better quality items.
  • Need volunteers to put felt pads on the legs of furniture.

Celebration Gig, Saturday 2 April, 7-11pm:

  • Committee members helping to set up tables and chairs at 2pm and helping on door and bar.

Community use of pub:

  • Sub-group* recognises we need to get pub open first before organising community group use.
  • Excellent feedback on farmers’ breakfast with offer of organising help from a local farmer.


  • 201 requests for membership.
  • Certificates to be issued.


It is looking like the pub will be open for drinks by the end of April, with the food offer available at a later date once the kitchen is fully up and running.

The 12 strong Management Committee comprises of:

  • Rick Dyke (Chair)
  • Margery Hookings (Vice-Chair & Minutes Secretary)
  • Charles Ouin (Company Secretary)
  • Elaine Leader
  • Graham Small
  • Teri Small
  • Sandra Burrows
  • Luke Pickering
  • Andrew Hookings
  • Fraser Hughes
  • Chris Edgerley
  • John Heys

*Sub-group – details to follow.




The White Lion – Update #12

The White Lion Management Committee met last night and the following was discussed:


  • Good progress made and painting coming on well.
  • Need volunteers to help prep rear toilet and rear corridor areas.
  • Electrics: Leo’s team have made good progress and are booked in for whole week.
  • Malcolm progressing well with back bar, new chiller is in. Furniture and soft furnishings progression.

Kitchen equipment:

Discussions ongoing. Agreed to earmark some Comrades Arms money for the coffee machine.

New till:

The new till will have a direct link to the kitchen. Card machine in hand.
Telephone engineers coming on 1st April and will create Guest WIFI.

Tree felling:

Going on this week behind the pub. (Photo credits: Peter Roe).

Fire Risk Assessment:

Will take place in next few weeks.

The Management Committee comprises of:

  • Rick Dyke (Chair)
  • Margery Hookings (Vice-Chair & Minutes Secretary)
  • Charles Ouin (Company Secretary)
  • Elaine Leader
  • Graham Small
  • Teri Small
  • Sandra Burrows
  • Luke Pickering
  • Andrew Hookings
  • Fraser Hughes
  • Chris Edgerley
  • Rick Dyke
  • John Heys

Please support this fundraiser on Saturday, 2nd April –



The White Lion – Update #11

The meeting of The White Lion Management Committee on 16th March opened with a period of reflection and silence following the terrible news of David Leader’s death. Like the rest of the community, the committee is devastated by the loss of this outstanding man. We are determined to realise David’s vision for The White Lion and work together to make it reality, as a fitting tribute to David.

Thought is now being given about how best the White Lion can remember David.

The following is a summary of the meeting:

Election of officers:

There was unanimous support for Rick Dyke as the new chairman and Margery Hookings as vice-chairman. She will also take over from Rick as minutes secretary. Charles Ouin to act as company secretary.

Feedback from Customer Workshop:

The committee is grateful to Dorothy Rowe for running the customer workshop, which was very well received. She will do a follow-up workshop in due course. Sandra, who is DPS trained, ran a licensing workshop. Kate will work to Sandra’s instructions.

Last orders will be called at 10.45pm, with drinking until 11pm. This needs to be consistent and can be monitored further down the line and can be extended for special occasions.
We will operate a ‘Challenge 25’ policy, a retailing strategy that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID when buying alcohol.

Kitchen equipment:

A list of kitchen equipment has been identified and is being sourced.

Trees on the bank:

Due to be felled on March 23rd/24th. Committee members and volunteers will be available on those days.


  • Grateful thanks to Pip Cadwell for doing a visual survey of the chimneys.
  • Malcolm Heaver is continuing his work on the back bar, with John Staff laying the stone in the hearth and slate near the bar.
  • John Heys is liaising over extra sockets, USB points and pendant lights.
  • Some furniture has been purchased and is being stored by a local resident in a dry outbuilding.
  • Dave Smith Heating and Plumbing, who was working in the village, promptly stepped in when water from a leaking radiator upstairs flooded the bar on Monday morning. He is not charging for the call out or his time. 🙂

The Management Committee now stand like this:

  • Rick Dyke (Chair)
  • Margery Hookings (Vice-Chair & Minutes Secretary)
  • Charles Ouin (Company Secretary)
  • Elaine Leader
  • Graham Small
  • Teri Small
  • Sandra Burrows
  • Luke Pickering
  • Andrew Hookings
  • Fraser Hughes
  • Chris Edgerley
  • Rick Dyke
  • John Heys

Please support this fundraiser on Saturday, 2nd April –



The White Lion – Update #10

The White Lion Management committee are –

  • David Leader (Chair)
  • Elaine Leader
  • Graham Small
  • Teri Small
  • Sandra Burrows
  • Charles Ouin
  • Luke Pickering
  • Andrew Hookings
  • Margery Hookings
  • Fraser Hughes
  • Chris Edgerley
  • Rick Dyke
  • John Heys

The management committee meets regularly as work continues on the refurbishment of The White Lion so it can reopen as a community pub. The aim is to open the bar in time for Easter with the first food offering a week or two later.

At the last meeting on 11/3/22, the following was discussed:


Certificates issued to all original committee members with a further 100 on the membership register still to be issued.  Subsequent applications online will be incorporated into the register after 18th March when online applications close.

Customer workshop:

Village resident, Dorothy Rowe will be working with staff team and some volunteers from management committee.

Kitchen equipment:

Broadly aligned on what we need. There are a few different possible suppliers. Agreed to roll this over to next week.

Financial report:

  • We will ask Palmers for a current copy of the inventory and value.
  • Agreed to appoint a stock taker who will visit quarterly, provide analysis and help set prices.
  • Till system – appoint Electrotech at a cost of £22.50 per week. Data cable from bar to kitchen advisable.
  • Utilities – Paragon still working on a deal.
  • PaymentSent card machine will be integrated with till. CC charge – 0.95%. 0.37% for debit cards. Machine costs £15 per month.
  • Cellar training.
  • Meeting to decide on product range.

Palmers’ building responsibilities:

2 damp patches and broken slates.  Workmen have replaced crash lock on back door, looked at damp patches and think may need scaffolding to fix, replaced tiles. Need to borrow a drone to take photo evidence of source of leak.

Trees on bank to be dealt with – 23rd and 24th March.


Detailed discussions around the back bar. Wall behind bar has been prepared, panelling ready for painting, old door to rear corridor has gone and been filled. Slabs for hearth and continuation of passageway have been sources, floor needs levelling, paint needs ordering.

Kate has cleaned some of the wall lights and fitted dimmable bulbs. Lights for over bar and six dining chairs have been bought. Two large farmhouse tables, two leather easy chairs and a coffee table have been donated. Furniture being stored in a local garage. Double plugs plus USBs in hand. New radiator ordered.

This weekend’s profits (and Tuesday, 15th) from the Comrades Arms are being donated to the Ukranian Humanitarian Appeal.

Friday night, the Comrades Arms raised £250.00.
Palmers Brewery also donated a barrel of IPA, soft drinks and bottled cider.
Saturday night, the Comrades Arms raised £98.50.

Thank you to the committee members who served everyone.

Please support this fundraiser on Saturday, 2nd April –



Greek Night – Friday, 25th March

On Friday 25th March from 6.30pm, you can celebrate Greek Independence Day with a choice of delicious traditional Greek dishes, cooked by local ‘chefs’ from our community…


Marinaded olives and flat breads

Choose from –

Moussaka (ground lamb and sliced aubergine, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce)
Stuffed Peppers (red and green pepper with rice, tomato, pine nuts and currants)
Beef Stifado (traditional Greek beef stew)
Braised Chicken (with orzo, feta and oregano)

Above served with potatoes cooked in the oven.

£10.00 per person, with profits to Save The White Lion

Add £5 for a Greek salad with green pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion and feta.

Book Now To Avoid Disappointment!

Either leave your name and choice from the menu at the bar or email Andrew Hookings:


Wear Your Mask At The White Lion Tonight

Due to an increase of positive Covid cases in the village, the committee have requested that those coming to this evening’s open viewing at The White Lion please wear a facemask in the interests of everybody’s safety.

The White Lion will be open from 6pm – 8pm.

Read the latest news HERE.