POPULAR Wollaston pub Graham's Place will be raising a few celebratory glasses after being voted CAMRA's pub of the year for Stourbridge and Halesowen.

The award signals a remarkable transformation for the Bridgnorth Road pub, previously known as The Cottage Spring, which was bought by proprietor Graham Webster five years ago.

He said: "It was known in the village as 'The Pink Palace'. To be honest, it was a dump, a right tip when we took it over.

"I knew the potential of real ale. It was the way to go because there was nobody in Wollaston that did real ale well enough.

"I'm dead chuffed to have won this award and it's a great honour, because there are now so many good real ale pubs in Stourbridge and Halesowen. Now we have got to make sure we keep up the standard."

CAMRA spokesman Simon Hanson said: "Graham's Place is a fabulous real ale pub. The ales are top quality and have really stood out over the past year."

Graham's Place now goes forward to represent Stourbridge and Halesowen in the Regional Finals in addition to a coveted accolade in the Good Pub Guide.

However, Mr Webster doesn't intend resting on his laurels and added: "I'm planning to start brewing my own beer on the premises - not a huge amount - but I've already had quite a bit of interest from people."

He also intends to transfer iconic flower shop Webster's of Wollaston, which is run by his sister Marion, onto the pub premises at Bridgnorth Road as well and confirmed: "It was always in the back of my mind to move the shop here when we bought the pub, particularly as there are parking issues at their current High Street premises.

"As a result of that, we will be looking to extend the pub car park. We're hoping to move the flower shop early in the New Year."