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Wetherspoons Great Harry pub in Woolwich will reopen after it was burnt down during the London riots
FOR almost a year it has been a terrible reminder of the violence which ravaged Woolwich in last summer's riots - but the Great Harry pub will finally reopen next week.
Possibly more than any of the appalling scenes from last August's unrest, the sight of the Wellington Street pub ablaze horrified people in this part of London.
After the violence, it served as a poignant symbol, even being used as a wall of peace when hundreds of people wrote messages of hope on the burnt out building's hoardings.
Those messages were eventually painted over, and the pub has remained boarded up ever since.
But the wait for its reopening is almost over and, following a £1.3m refit, the boozer on July 10 - just in time to greet visitors to this summer's Olympics.
New manager Arber Hasani said: "The Great Harry plays an important role in the Woolwich community and I know that people are excited about the reopening of their pub.
"In the days following the disturbances, the hoardings around the burnt out pub became a tribute wall, for people to leave messages and comments of support, which showed the importance of it to them and the local community."
Wetherspoons says the pub, first opened in 2000, will create 60 jobs, with 15 members of staff returning from the old business.
It will open from 7am until 12 midnight Sunday to Thursday and 7am until 1am Friday and Saturday. The 16-year-old Abbey Wood arsonist who burnt the pub down was detained last December for four years.