Urgent appeal after blaze wrecks UK’s ‘second oldest pub’ near Gatwick

Ye Olde Six Bells, Horley, pictured before the fire SUS-190529-152035001
Ye Olde Six Bells, Horley, pictured before the fire SUS-190529-152035001

An urgent appeal has been set up after an historic pub near Gatwick was wrecked by fire.

The blaze broke out at Ye Olde Six Bells in Horley - next to the town’s St Bartholomew’s Church - just after 7.30pm yesterday.

Fire crews battled for around three hours to extinguish the flames. The roof of the 700-year-old building - reputed to be the second oldest pub in the country - has been destroyed and the first floor has been left damaged.

Local resident Penny Lochead said: “It’s a real shock. It was reminiscent of Notre Dame, seeing such an historic building in flames.

“It’s devastating for the staff, the local residents and the town itself.

“It’s a blessing no-one was hurt and I just hope they can restore it to its former glory.”

A crowdfunding appeal has now been set up aimed at raising £1,000 to help the pub landlord’s family who lived on the premises and are said to have ‘lost everything.’

Crawley dance school Desire2Dance - which numbers one of the pub’s family as a member - has launched the appeal.

A spokesman said: “The family appreciate everything they are being offered/donated. We have already collected a boot full of items.” They included a duvet, clothes and toys.

To donate see https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpfordesire2dancestudent?fbclid=IwAR3w9CE7VK5BUr0sm-BIjEFtyyvT1sC-Uk57LUcwaj8f01OLfGDri8BdY-4