ORIGINALLY a farmhouse, The Sun Inn has been a Pickering pub for about 200 years and prides itself on offering one of the best selection of real ales from Yorkshire.

The pub, in Westgate, faced closure when it was taken over by retired couple Martin and Penny Robertson and local builder Simon Atkinson and his wife Jo in April 2010.

Martin said: “We moved here five years ago from Lincolnshire after falling in love with Pickering. We met Simon here and decided to buy the pub as it was in a very bad way at the time and needed a complete revamp.”

Martin’s passion is real ales, so they aimed to keep the character of the pub while bringing it up-to-date and providing somewhere people could go for a drink and a chat.

“We only sell Yorkshire beer and have three guest beers at a time from across the county as well as the regular Leeds Best,” he said.

“It often means I have to go and get the beer myself as many of the smaller breweries don’t deliver.”

Martin said The Sun Inn was a community- minded pub, with regular fundraising events for charity.

“Each Friday we have a bread and cheese evening, with bread made from the yeast at the end of the beer made by John Medd, along with home-made pickles, and all donations are given to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance,” he said.

“We also hold a quiz night once a month for the Genesis Charity, which two of our customers are aiming to do a charity trek for.”

Martin said music was also a big feature of the pub, with regular evenings featuring local artists as well as a vinyl night when people could bring their old 45s to be played.

“We have a loyal band of customers and aim to offer a quiet environment where people can sit and chat without televisions or game machines,” he said.

“What is really lovely is that many of the people who used to come before it was revamped have come back and really embraced what we have to offer.”

Martin said everyone was delighted The Sun Inn had been named rural Pub of the Year by Camra members after coming runner-up last year.

“We are absolutely over the moon to win it this year,” he said.

“It is such a joy to have a place like this. We always wanted to create somewhere we would like to come to and we hope that if we like it, everyone else will feel the same.