A LOCAL COMMUNITY in addition to pub-goers descended on a much-loved Bodmin venue to show their support to the landlord.

The display of appreciation came days after the Hole in the Wall, based on Crockwell Street in the town was controversially stripped of its CAMRA Cornwall Pub of the Year award.

It was stripped of the award by the national organisation after a single complaint was made regarding a small swastika displayed among the hundreds of paraphernalia adorning the walls of the historic venue, which has a history stretching back to its time as a debtors prison in the mid to late 1700s.

The offending article was brought home from World War II by a Cornish soldier based at the now-former barracks in the town, and had been displayed for the past 80 years among multiple items ranging from old guns, foreign currency, mugs, hats and a stuffed lion, which had all been bartered by previous generations in exchange for ale.

It had been intended that the local CAMRA branch, CAMRA Kernow, would hold its social meeting at the Hole in the Wall on March 30, where it would have presented the landlord, Steve Hall, and his team with the pub of the year award.

However, the removal of the award by the national CAMRA organisation did not deter local members in addition to the Bodmin community from showing their appreciation to Mr Hall and his team, with the social event planned still going ahead.

CAMRA members were joined by swathes of the Bodmin community, packing out the pub in a show of solidarity and support for Mr Hall, who has been the landlord of the Hole of the Wall for over two decades, and his team.

While there might not have been a national CAMRA award for the venue, there was a surprise in store for Steve.

He was presented with a ‘HIWOC’ award from some of his grateful regulars. The ‘HIWOC’ award, which stands for Hole In The Wall Old Codgers, was a framed award given to Mr Hall, in celebration of the role he plays both in the community and celebrating his over two decades as landlord of the pub.

When asked about the award, Mr Hall said that it was the award he’d most appreciated of the awards he’d received in his time at the pub, because it came from those that mattered most; his locals.

For a feature on the artefacts and history of the Hole in the Wall pub, pick up a copy of your local paper, out Wednesday (April 3)