LARGER than life country pub landlord Gerry Stonhill has taken on the historic Railway Inn at Fairford.

The pub, which has been trading in the village for more than 250 years, went on the market in May last year as the owners moved on to concentrate on their scaffolding business.

Now the cigar-smoking former landlord of the Mason Arms in South Leigh – which was acclaimed by celebrity chefs and has its own helicopter landing pad – is taking up the new challenge.

Gerry famously flouted the smoking ban at the Mason Arms and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,750 in 2008.

He is also notorious for refusing to let children into the pub and only accepting payment by cash and American Express card. Few prices were displayed on the menu.

Gerry secured the Railway Inn in a deal brokered by Colliers International hotels specialist Peter Brunt.