PUB staff in Fordingbridge went above and beyond to make sure New Year’s Eve was not ruined for its customers after a power cut threatened to spoil the celebrations.

The George in Bridge Street had 50 diners booked in for a six-course taster menu when the electricity went out for almost six hours at around noon.

Landlady Caroline Roylance said: “First of all we thought it was just us but then we heard all the alarms going off in Fordingbridge.”

The pub was able to serve some of its diners when the power initially went out but had more booked in later that evening.

As the hours passed and there was still no power, Caroline and the team had to cancel their lunchtime service and closed the doors in the hope power would be restored in time for the New Year’s Eve crowd.

“[The electricity company] told me the power was going to be back on at 8pm. I thought we have got 50 people for a taster session - we can’t cancel.”

Caroline contacted her parents Janice and Ian Wright for help and they brought round a generator and a gas stove. And, luckily for Caroline, her mum has a collection of oil lamps which were perfect for such an emergency.

Assistant head chef Simon Webb took the food away with him to prepare at home and cook in his oven. Head chef Marie O’Brien prepared pasta in the conservatory where it was still light.

Staff at the pub spent three hours putting candles into bottles and filling up the oil lamps.

Power was eventually restored just before the evening service started.

“It looked so great in the restaurant,” said Caroline. “Everybody couldn’t believe the work we’d done.”

Customers were served their food in the glow of the oil lamps and candle light, and Caroline and the team have received a lot of positive feedback from customers.

“It was a real team effort. They were all prepared to do what needed to be done,” said Caroline.

“Cancelling [the New Year’s Eve service] was not an option. We weren’t going to let all the customers down on New Year’s.”

Caroline says they were “not going to be defeated” by the power cut.

“We’ve been through floods and now we’ve been through a power cut that almost affected New Year’s Eve. We know what to do now but it was the worst day for it to happen.

“Cancelling 50 people was not an option, it would have ruined all their New Year’s,” said Caroline.

“We will be doing [the candle light and oil lamp service] again without the power cut.”