Five years or so ago, The Boot seemed doomed. Its owners, Greene King, had declared it unviable and applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council for planning permission to turn it into a private house. This resulted in a vigorous "save our local" campaign by the villagers (the other pub in Dullingham, The King's Head, being run essentially as a restaurant). Fortunately the District Council was convinced by their arguments and the planning application was refused, obliging Green King to offer the pub for sale.

Local couple Kevin and Dianne McDonnell stepped in and the pub reopened in August 2001. Since then their hard work and enthusiasm has been well rewarded. The Boot is a true community local, right at the heart of village life, offering a meeting place for many local societies and sports clubs as well as being a brilliant place just for a drink and a chat. It has won a regular place in the Good Beer Guide, selling two beers from Adnams plus a regularly changing guest beer, often from an East Anglian micro.

Kevin and Dianne received their award at a fun-filled presentation evening on 7 June. Especially welcome were the five real ales on offer, four of them at £1 a pint and including a delicious drop of St Peter's Mild.

The Boot is living proof that, in the right hands, any pub can be made to be viable. If you get the formula right and put the necessary effort in, people will come, as Kevin and Dianne have shown.