PUB-GOERS raised a glass to toast the success of a unbeerlievable first year since opening.

Staff have worked up a thirst in the months leading up to The Ampleforth's first birthday, with the same team who led an 18-month fight to save the building in Risinghurst from being sold, having to pick up the pieces of a major burglary earlier this year.

They now say that the 'future is bright' but are still urging the community to be the driving force behind them.

Lyn Simms, who has lived on the Risinghurst estate for more than 30 years, was one of the founding members of the Save the Amp group, which was formed to resurrect the pub.

She said the first year had been one to remember, adding:“The future looks bright.

“It’s been a really good 12 months and we are going from strength to strength, certainly compared to being closed for three years.

"We know what they are drinking and what’s working well."

She said: “I think the community do need to come on board a bit more.

“Community pubs are for there the community to run, it’s been a lot of work for myself.”

The pub first closed its doors in 2014 when the Punch Tavern put it on the market.

That's when the Save the Amp Revival Group stepped in, in a bid to keep the ale flowing at the pub, which was one a favourite of Narnia creator CS Lewis who lived in The Kiln.

The team poured hours into getting the building listed as an asset of community value, and led an 18-month fight to keep the boozer at least in part, open as a pub.

Ms Lynn added: “There was a lot of negativity people saying you’re never going to get it open, but we’ve shown you can do anything if you put a bit of hard work in."

Several nearby businesses and community members bought shares in the business.

And the mission ended on a high in 2017, when the plans to demolish and revamp the building were given the green-light by Oxford City Council.

The community group tried to raise the money to buy the pub before they secured a short-term lease to revive the free house.

She added: “It is a shame we couldn’t buy it but we’re happy with the way it’s turned out.

“We’re really starting to find our stride now, with our new manager Chris Kaymak – it’s all working well."

Owners at the pub were left heartbroken only six month's after opening when the free house was raised by thieves who stole £1,300 in cash that was raised through community events.

The pub will be hosting an array of festive events like a toe-tapping carol service on Christmas eve and live music on Saturday nights.

For opening hours visit the Amp Community Pub Ltd Facebook page.