Ship Inn at Levington to rise like a phoenix from the ashes

Crews tackling the blaze at the Ship Inn earlier this year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Crews tackling the blaze at the Ship Inn earlier this year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Work is set to begin to rebuild a historic Suffolk pub which was devastated by fire earlier this year.

The Ship Inn at Levington went up in flames at the end of March after a fire took hold in the building's thatch roof.

Twenty fire engines and 45 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze at the Grade II listed building, working in shifts in an effort to save as much of the historic pub as possible.

The officers were forced to remove much of the pub's thatched roof as a result of the blaze but it was confirmed that the rest of the building's structure had survived.

An investigation deemed the fire to be accidental with the most likely cause being a burning ember which had been released from the chimney.

The pub's owners, Adnams, said in April that they were hoping to have the building re-opened by Christmas.

Now, it has been confirmed that talks have now progressed with re-building work is set to begin soon.

As part of this work new technology is being sought to help prevent further fires.

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In a note to customers on Facebook the pub wrote: "Further to our previous updates, we can confirm that we are nearing the end of the negotiations between our insurers, loss adjusters, building contractors, listed building planners and structural engineers on the precise specification of the rebuild, which will see The Ship restored to its former glory.

"As a listed building the thatch will be replaced, and the stoves will remain as the primary source of heating for the pub.

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"However, we are investigating the latest advice, improvements and technology to help prevent future fires.

"We will continue to issue updates and look forward to The Ship's reopening."

The work is due to begin on the site on June 24 with a 20-week programme of works planned.

A spokesman for Adnams confirmed that they were still aiming to be open for the Christmas period.

In the meantime staff from the pub have been found alternative employment either at other Adnams managed sites or with other local employers.

This year's fire was the third serious fire at the pub with incidents having previously taken place in 2001 and also the late 1980s.

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