ONE of Halesowen's oldest pubs - which had been boarded up - has undergone a makeover and is doing a thriving trade.

Picks on High Street had been empty for around 18-months after the previous landlady retired.

Now new landlady and landlord Isabel Hampton and Mark Griffiths have breathed new life into the pub - splashing out more than £12k on a refurbishment.

The business partners opened Picks on July 5 after a six-week revamp - during which they completed a lot of the work themselves.

They have a three-year lease on the pub with owner Heineken.

Isabel said the makeover included a new bar and lounge, decorating of the interior, which had suffered from smoke damage from cigarettes and repainting and improving the outside.

The 50-year-old said: "This is the first time I have run a pub, I have worked in a variety of pubs under management.

"The community in Halesowen have been very supportive.

"We've had lots of customers and it's been great.

"I would like anyone who has any ideas about charity events they would like to hold here to pop into the pub.

"We are also hoping to have pub football and dominoes teams to really support the community and bring people together."

Isabel and Mark, aged 48, are in the process of doing up the pub's terrace which is hoped will open on the bank holiday Monday, August 26.

Halesowen BID manager Vicky Rogers said: "Picks is one of the oldest pubs in Halesowen and situated smack bang in the middle of the town centre.

"After a long period of closure and boarded up windows the fresh looking new interior has a warm modern welcome to the people of Halesowen."

The painting of the exterior is ongoing as Isabel and Mark are waiting for a permit for a cherry picker.

The pub opened around 1854 and was originally called the Lyttleton Arms, but was later renamed as a nod to former owner - Billy Picks.