A fight to re-open a pub near Horsham saw around 50 people turn up on Saturday to show the strength of feeling in the community.
The Frog and Nightgown in Wimland Road closed when the proprietor Janet Reynolds died suddenly at the end of 2012, and since then it has been on the open market.
Trevor Hamilton, 45, who has lived in Wimland Road for almost nine years, said to get that many people turning up from a tiny little hamlet was ‘incredible’, and described the pub as a community hub that happened to serve drink.
“It’s one of those community hubs that’s irreplaceable. That kind of community you can’t replace it, it just happens,” he added.
“It’s one of those glimpses into the past which is becoming so rare.”
It was once reputed to be one of the smallest pubs in the country, and Mr Hamilton described it as looking like someone’s front room, run more like a social club than a pub.
He said that an offer had been made by one resident to keep it as a pub, but it had been rejected.
He added: “In the future the generations people will not have the option and meet the sort of people who want to go there.
“It will be devastating to the local community. We all have that hope in us that we have been thrown that lifeline that someone has made an offer for it.”
Deborah Smith, who attended the gathering on Saturday, added: “The problem is how to express to people the exact nature of this community spirit and the central presence of this pub at it’s core because people see this sort of thing all the time, everywhere - locals being upset at changing environments.
“However I can honestly say that I have never encountered a community of friendship and fun, comprising all ages from children to older people, in my life.
“This pub and it’s community rivals the quaintest, friendliest, characterful pub one would come across in the depths of Cornwall or Devon - and exceeds it.”