A society established in 2015 to save and retain the Drovers Inn, Gussage All Saints, now trading as The Cockerel under tenants Margaret, Thom and Kesh who became the new leasholders from October 2023. 


Although the pub at the heart of Gussage All Saint shas a history dating back hundreds of years, in more recent times it was sold by the Ninth earl of Shaftesbury to the brewery Hall & Woodhouse in June 1929 at which time it was known as The Earl Haig. The pub was sunsequently renamed as The Drovers Inn in the 1970s and Hall & Woodhouse sold the freehold in 1982. Following this sale the pub was operated by a numnber of freehold publicans until it was purchased by Ringwood Brewery in 2000 from which time it operated as a tied pub. RIngwood was later purchased by Marstons. In November 2014 the pub was closed and boarded and developers were seeking planning permission to convert it into a large house. Once the community became aware of the closure a 20 month David and Goliath battle began as the determmined community fought to save the pub for future generations.

The hard won fight to save this much loved pub 

  • November 2014 - pub closed and boarded
  • New Year’s Eve 2014 - developer’s planning application goes public, attempting to convert the pub into large house - 200 objections received
  • January 2015 - community open meeting unanimously agrees to fight to save the pub
  • February 2015 - the Drovers is formally recognised as an Asset of Community Value and the Community’s intent to bid is recorded
  • Spring 2015 - the Gussage Community Benefit Society Ltd is established and the Community Share offer launched to raise funds to purchase, and re-furbish the pub. The community decides that it will let the pub to professionals to ensure the experience it needs to thrive


  • June 2015 - the change of use planning application is refused - the Drovers is viable and must remain as a pub!
  • Autumn/Winter 2015 - Mortgage and share capital in place and purchase negotiations advanced
  • February 2016 - In line with the Community decision to appoint experienced professionals the pub tenants are appointed to establish and run the pub operation
  • March 11th 2016 - the purchase is complete and an army of Volunteers and Contractors get to work on bringing the pub back to life
  • July 9th 2016 - Huge celebrations as the pub re-opens under tenants Stephen and Barbara who re-established the business after 20 months of closure.
  • March 2nd 2019 - Lease holders Harvelle and Martin take over the pub, introduced Bed & Breakfast rooms and steered the business through the Covid pandemic.
  • October 2023 - New Lease Holders Margaret, Thom and Kesh take over to guide the pub through its next chapter trading as The Cockerel.