WINSTON Churchill's great-grandson and the boss of Blenheim Palace have backed a community campaign to save a pub.

Residents in Bladon have weeks left to raise enough money to buy The White House, which is said to be the pub Churchill 'learned to drink at' during his adolescent years at nearby Blenheim.

Greene King is selling the pub and villagers have until March this year to bid for it, before it is put on the open market.

Inspired by Churchill, who is buried in Bladon, they are inviting people to join their 'war cabinet' and buy shares in the pub, by the deadline of February 14 (extended from January 31). 

Mike Edwards, of Bladon Community Pub Committee, said: "To quote Sir Winston, we plan to ‘never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never’.

"Bladon locals have followed the example of The White House’s most revered patron, Sir Winston, by forming our own War Cabinet and society to keep this Churchillian centre to our village open."

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Randolph Churchill, the former Prime Minister's great-grandson, added: "Our family is very proud of our association with Bladon and the love and care the community gives towards my great-grandfather’s resting place.

"[These] plans very much have our family blessing."

Residents have got the pub listed as an asset of community value, which means the owners have to allow locals six months to make an offer before anyone else gets the chance to buy it.

The White House is still open as usual, at least until the current tenancy ends in April.

It is being sold for £495,000 and the community's share offer has already seen pledges of more than £128,000.

They hope to raise a minimum of £335,000, with the remaining balance funded by grants, a loan and a commercial mortgage.

Dominic Hare, chief executive of Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, said: "The White House has been one of the hubs of community life in Bladon for a very long time and we believe that it is very important for all Bladon residents for it to remain this way.

"We will support the project team at every step and urge others to do so too."

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Witney MP Robert Courts, who lives in Bladon, added: "I know just how important the White House is to our community.

"As a village in a rural area too, the pub is a vital resource for those vulnerable residents who may not be able to travel further afield for the services it provides, and it can help to alleviate rural isolation.

"I am fully behind the campaign to run the White House as a community pub."

The community group is holding several drop-in sessions where people can find out more information about offering their support.

Bladon Church Rooms will host two - one this Sunday, from midday until 2pm, and another on Saturday, January 18, from 10am until 2pm.

The final drop-in before the share offer closes will be held at the White House itself, from 6pm until 8pm.

The group is being helped by the Woodstock-based Plunkett Foundation, which will support them to develop a business plan and make it a success as they already have for other community pubs.

For more details about the campaign, visit or @bladon_pub on Twitter.