THE brothers who took homeless people in from the cold at a Royal Wootton Bassett pub last week revealed all about the challenges and rewards of the experience.

Dave Bingham and the Woodshaw Inn’s landlord Jeff Candler decided to open the pub’s doors to rough sleepers on Thursday and Friday night to give them a chance to get out of the snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Originally, Dave had planned to rent out his caravan.

When he discussed the idea with his brother, Jeff offered to let homeless people sleep in the Woodshaw's function room temporarily.

They had plenty of assistance from local community group Swindon Homeless Volunteers, but organising such an endeavour was hard work.

Dave said: “I was out in my 4x4 here there and everywhere at all hours trying to find people stuck out in the snow and offer them help,

“Overall, four people took us up on the offer and they were well-looked-after.

"We're quite far from Swindon so it was tricky to get them to the pub and back but we managed.

"I drove around on Friday and started getting worried because I couldn’t find anyone, people could've died in those conditions.

"Then I realised that the council’s emergency program had kicked in and they’d been taken into accommodation.

"At least they were safe and nobody died.

“I wish we’d thought of this earlier but it was a great experience and I’ll keep working with the volunteers.”

Jeff said; "It went well, we kept them fed and watered, they felt secure and warm.

"We had two girls in on Thursday, they were quite young, only teenagers.

Then on Friday, we were going to have four or five people in but only took one in the end because the council had given the rest shelter.

"We'd left this a bit last-minute but I'm glad we did it.

"People have donated loads of blankets and mattresses for the homeless which is good."

As well as opening the function room, Jeff planned to turn Saturday’s live music night into a fundraiser but the snow had other ideas.

Dave added: “We had a singer coming down from Wales but he was trapped up there because of the bad weather.

"The event has been rescheduled for Saturday March 17."

Swindon Borough Council's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol came into force on Thursday as temperatures plummeted to minus 6 degrees Celsius, the roads were clogged with snow and an icy wind cut through the town.

On the first day, SWEP teams housed 42 people in emergency accommodation and offered accommodation to a further six who declined.

The protocol remained in effect until Sunday.