CRIME writers have gathered in force to help save a beloved village pub.

The future of the Ridsdale’s only community space, The Gun Inn, currently hangs in the balance, with local residents launching a bid to purchase the pub themselves after fears the building would become a private home.

The campaign ‘Pub on a Thread’ project was set up by Ridsdale Community Group, and offers members of the public a chance to buy a share in the country pub, with the hope of raising the £200,000 funding needed to purchase the building.

And the group has now received the backing of local and national crime writers, who shared their support for the campaign on social media.

These names included Ann Cleeves, award-winning author of the Shetland and Vera novels, who was the first to tweet her support, reminding her thousands of followers that: “Pubs and bookshops keep a community alive!”, along with the fact that an episode of Vera had been filmed in the pub.

Author Craig Robertson showed his support, along with Matt Wesolowski and Stocksfield writer L.J. Ross, who said: “Support your local community, folks!” and told audiences that The Gun Inn was just the type of place where her main protagonists Ryan and Phillips would share a pint and a Sunday roast.

Helen Stanton, owner of Forum Books in Corbridge lives near Ridsdale and has been instrumental in backing the ‘Pub on a Threat’ project.

“Crime writers are a wonderfully supportive bunch and a few that we know were more than happy to help get our message out on social media. Thanks to the support so far we’ve had pledges from as far away as Liverpool, New York and Durham!”