A RIBBLE Valley pub which is popular with ex-servicemen has been rewarded for its fund raising efforts for an armed forces charity.

The Petre Arms in Langho was presented with special painting of a soldier from the 30th East Lancashire Regiment after raising money for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association.

Managers Andy Matthews, 47, and his partner Michelle Pointez, 42, took over the running of the pub in Whalley Road five years ago and set about raising money for the charity a year later.

To date, the couple have raised more than £6,000 and are expecting to almost reach the £10,000 mark by the end of the year.

The painting, which is now in pride of place at the pub, was presented by Ribble Valley Mayor, Coun Richard Sherras, who has been supporting SSAFA during his mayoral year, and the charity’s chairman, Malcolm Smith.

Andy said: “I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the last four years for such a good cause.

“SSAFA do great work and it’s great that so much money has been raised for them.

“Our customers have really got behind us and have supported every fund raising event very well.

“It’s common to have 20 or 30 ex-servicemen and women in the pub some nights that they are an important part of the makeup of the pub.

“We are going to carry on raising money for SSAFA.”

Coun Sherras said: “My memories of SSAFA go back to 1945 when, after demob from the RAF, my father started his welfare work for the association ably assisted by my mother.

“I remember a succession of people coming to our house and talking to my father in the front room. My father then continued for nearly 50 years with the association.”