PORTLAND’S visitors are no longer being greeted by a boarded up pub after a revamp.

The former Masons and Mariners has been closed for two years but has now been refurbished and is re-opening under its former name the Royal Victoria Lodge.

Islander Angie Gale has realised a dream by getting the keys to her first pub and is planning to open en-suite accommodation above it.

Fortuneswell has come under the spotlight for its number of empty premises leading up to the Olympics and Angie is hoping the pub will prove how the area can be transformed.

She said: “It’s in a prime position with the bus stops and the taxi rank here so people will be coming and going.

“We’ve also got Portland Castle and the leisure centre nearby so we couldn’t be in a better place.”

Angie, of Weston Street, said she has happy memories of the pub in the 1970s and therefore decided to bring its old name back.

She said: “I’ve admired this place since I used to come here.

“The fun and the times we had down here were indescribable.”

The pub is owned by town councillor Neil Charlton, who offered Angie a 15-year-lease.

Mr Charlton said the buildingwas believed to have originally been a coach inn with the old stables derelict next door.

But it is also remembered as having been used as a makeshift hospital during the Second World War.

A concrete slab is still in one of the back rooms where bodies are believed to have been laid out as part of the mortuary. It is hoped the new pub will attract walkers and local families with plans for children’s entertainment, pool and darts teams and Angie is hoping to fence off the garden as a children’s area.

Angie thanked her parents Len and Shirley Naylor for financing the refurbishment and all her family for helping with the work.

She said: “It’s been a long road to get this ready to open.

“I’ve had times where I’ve cried but the finished product is worth it.”

Her father Len, 76, added: “It’s been Angie’s dream and I’m excited.”

Yvonne Beven, co-ordinator of the Revive Portland project, welcomed news of the pub re-opening.

She said: “It’s a step in the right direction and better than having a boarded up pub there.”

Revive is aiming to work with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to use the 2012 Olympics as a catalyst for regeneration.

Ms Beven added: “Good luck to them and let’s hope the pub attracts the right class of people and gives a good impression of Portland to visitors.”