VILLAGERS often feel forgotten as it straddles the county borders, but the village is reminded of the importance it plays when it comes to election time.

With a County Durham postcode but under the arm of Northumberland County Council, the village of Whitonstall was often overlooked when it came to countywide decisions, claim residents.

However, the majority of the 300 voters turn up to the village pub, the Anchor Inn, to cast their votes and have a big say on the outcome of the result for the Hexham constituency.

Gavin and Karen Reay, the pub's owners, agreed to allow their pub to become a polling station in 2010 to prevent the nearby Whittonstall First School having to shut to pupils for the day.

The protocol has remained ever since, and it was a no brainer to Mr and Mrs Reay as the pub is already the vocal point of the remote village.

Mr Reay said: "We possibly think that we do get forgotten about as a village some times.

"When my daughter was at the school, one of the school governors asked if we could do the polling station rather than closing the school and we said that was no problem at all. "I must admit it does perk the pub up a bit on a bleak Thursday night!

"People have got out of the habit of visiting their pub so a visit for the election might kickstart that habit again, but we are also happy to help the community by giving it somewhere to vote."