A COUPLE have fulfilled their dream of running a British pub after moving back to the country from Down Under.

Simon, 48, and Debbie Dunkinson, 44, have become the tenants of the Crown, in Sandon Green, Sandon, with the aim of making it a community orientated venue where people come to eat and be entertained.

The husband and wife moved out to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, six years ago but came back to England six months ago after they decided they wanted a new challenge.

After searching for a while, Debbie, who worked as a dentist receptionist, said it was love at first sight when her and her painter and decorator husband saw the building.

She said: “We started our search for a pub to take over when we came back here this year.

“We looked at a few places, but then when we came across the Crown, we loved it straight away and knew it was the right place for us.”

Having officially taken over on September 26, the couple, who have brought their daughter Olivia and her friend Lauren from Australia to work behind the bar, welcomed punters with music and food on Sunday.

They hope their ideas for the venue will make it a desirable place for people to visit for a pint or a bit of British pub grub.

Debbie said: “Apparently a few years ago the pub was always really popular for eating, but it then went into a bit of decline.

“What we are hoping to do is bring back the good old days and make it a place where the locals, and others from outside Sandon, want to come and eat.

“In the future we’d love to run events like a beer festival and if there is interest we might start a pub quiz, but for now we are just focusing on getting things running.

“We want to maintain a real community feel as well here. We’ve met a lot of locals and they have all been fantastic, so it is all looking good.”