A once-failing pub has been praised by award scheme assessors for its high standards and responsible management.

Shane Kilcrann took over the Old Hall Tavern, in Hall Lane, Chingford, nearly five years ago and immediately closed it down to carry out a deep clean and refurbishment.

He has invested almost £150,000 into the business to turn it into family friendly pub.

Mr Kilcrann said: “When I took over, I immediately closed the pub as I felt it was not fit for public health.

“The public were at risk. It was filthy dirty and should not have been open.

“It has taken me five years to get to where I wanted.

“It was always a big risk taking over a pub with a lot of history attached to it.

“I was told numerous times it wasn’t a particularly nice place.”

The money has been spent on refurbishing the interior and exterior of the building.

Serving up to four ales on tap at one time, the pub has been given a number of industry accreditations for its beers.

Mr Kilcrann, his 10 staff and regular customers have taken part in dozens of fundraising events, collecting more than £20,000 for local charities including Woodford Green's Haven House Children's Hospice.

Assessors from the Home Office’s Best Bar None scheme visited the pub in December last year.

Mr Kilcrann described it as a “gruelling” three-hour inspection, but the pub registered the highest score in Waltham Forest.

He attended an awards ceremony at Waltham Forest Town Hall on Tuesday, were the Old Hall Tavern was named 'Pub of the Year', the first award of its kind in the borough.

Shocked by the announcement, Mr Kilcrann thanked his staff and customers. 

He said: "This is not an individual award, it is an award for my staff and loyal customers.

"I would not have received this if the staff did not put in the hard work and effort to make the pub what it is, and also the continued custom and support from my friends and customers over the past few years."

A total of nine pubs in the borough have gained the UK accreditation.