IAN and Stefanie Barnett have been managing the Ship, in Dock Road, Grays, for just over two years. Stefanie, 41, was born and raised in Thurrock, while Ian, 52, was born in Sussex. They have four children – one working at William Edwards School and one at Stifford Clays Primary.

Q) What do you love about Thurrock and what is it that’s kept you here?

A) We are both long-term residents of Thurrock and have both worked in different sectors of the community. Friends and family keep us here, and now customers that have become our friends also keep us here

Q) How do you see the future for the borough?

A) Investment is needed in Grays to bring it into line with similar areas. New jobs will aid the regeneration, bringing with them a better standard of living with more prospects.

Q) How do you think other parts of Essex see Thurrock?

A) We’d like to think other areas can see Thurrock’s potential and growth prospects, with investment a key feature.

Q) If you could change one thing about the borough, what would it be?

A) The roads and infastructure would benefit from being updated. As the borough becomes busier, we suffer from congestion and that has a massive knock-on effect for both social and business needs.

Q) What made you start up your own business here?

A) We were offered the opportunity to manage the Ship, and welcomed the challenge to return the pub back into a wellused friendly local.

Q) What involvement in the community does the Ship have?

A) We see the Ship as an integral part of the community, where friends and family can meet to eat, drink, chat and take in our live music nights, in a familiar, friendly atmosphere, with customers and staff being more like friends.

Our Thursday carvery offers our older residents a chance to enjoy a roast dinner while catching up with friends, and on Sundays it is a chance for families to come out and eat together.

Q) What’s your favourite bit about the Gazette?

A) The Gazette, being delivered free, plays an important role in keeping people up to date with local news and events, particularly those who don’t have internet access or cannot go out. It’s a one-stop information shop.

If you want your family or buisness to feature in our weekly page, please call our newsroom on 01375 411502.