TWO friends have saved a pub from demolition after winning a six-month battle for ownership with a building company.

John Hellewell and Gordon Eccles have stepped in and saved The Singing Man in Shafton and are preparing big things for its future.

John, 62, from nearby Ryhill, had regularly visited the pub before its closure last summer and dreamed of one day owning it.

He said: "So many pubs in Barnsley have been closed and knocked down for housing, but we were determined that The Singing Man would not go down the same route.

"The brewery, Carlsberg, put it up for sale and it looked like a building firm would win the race to buy it but luckily Gordon agreed with its potential and here we are."

The pair - who got the keys on February 21 - are refurbishing the pub throughout and are even planning on turning a downstairs area into a fish and chip restaurant.

"It is a dream come true," John added. "Pubs are sadly dying out so we are going to save this great pub from that.

"We have already got three wedding parties booked in for our function room and the response from local residents has been amazing."

John and Gordon hope to open The Singing Man before the summer.