A DRAMATIC photo by reader Robert Bates reveals the extent of a fire that ripped through a stables block to the rear of The Hen and Chicken pub in Froyle in the early hours of last Friday morning.

The alarm was raised at 5am when smoke was seen coming from the stables and fire crews from Alton, Rushmoor and Basingstoke arrived within minutes while police closed the slip road running from the A31 in front of the pub.

They worked for two hours using three hose reels and four jets and by 7.16am the fire was under control - but the whole of the stable roof was destroyed.

“Fortunately no one was hurt and the fire service were brilliant,” Laura Anfield who runs the pub with husband Kevin told The Herald.

“It is a long time since horses were kept in the stables and nothing of value was lost as only odd bits and pieces were stored there. We didn’t have to close the pub and it’s business as usual.”

Though a bitter loss for the pub’s owners, the timing of the fire was a stroke of luck for antique dealers Clare and Dave Myers, who only vacated their Courtyard Antiques dealership from the barn in January having seen their previous business the Bourne Mill Antiques Centre in Guildford Road, Farnham suffer devastating fire damage in 2015.

The Bourne Mill is yet to re-open, with the building’s owner Glyn Evans still locked in a row with his insurance company over the repair costs.