May 22 2013 Latest news:
The new owners of the Barford Cock, Marvin Shalders, front left, and his brother Kevin, right, which they have bought as a legacy to their sister, Lynette Blower. With them from left, Lynette's sons, Matt, manager; and James, restaurant adviser; and Marvin's wife, Nic Shalders, holding their son, Harry, 2. Picture: Denise Bradley
Friday, March 1, 2013
Two brothers have joined forces to buy a Norfolk village pub as a legacy for their late sister who died of cancer last year.
Kevin and Marvin Shalders bought the Barford Cock, in the village west of Norwich, on Valentine’s Day at auction and plan to reopen it as a traditional, family friendly pub with good food and a great atmosphere.
They said the purchase was very much inspired by the memory of their sister Lyn Blower and to honour her dying wish that her sons, Matthew and James, would have a secure future.
Marvin, who lives in Downham, near Wymondham, said his sister had fought breast cancer in 2011 and thought she had beaten the disease.
“Last year she started to feel a pain in her side and thought it was gallstones,” he said. “But a scan showed a shadow on her liver. Five weeks later she died. All she kept asking in those last weeks was whether Matthew had found a job. She wanted to know he was settled but she never saw that happen. Matthew is a bar manager so we rang him straight away and said we wanted him to run the pub. He was so excited.”
He added that James, who is currently in work, is a trained chef so will be helping draw up menus and set up the kitchen in his spare time.
The brothers said that the decision to buy the pub was fairly sudden but felt that Lyn was looking over them at the auction when the hammer came down under their top limit.
“My mum just said “thank you Lyn” when we got it and my brother-in-law Paul was thrilled,” said Marvin. “He had been really struggling with it being his first Valentine’s Day without Lyn and this was finally some good news and something the whole family can focus on and look to the future.”
Kevin, who lives in Poringland, works in Azerbaijan in the oil and gas industry and Marvin is a door man and runs the family scrap business but other family members have chipped in with offers of help including their uncle and aunt who run the Half Moon pub in Rushall, near Diss.
Marvin, his wife Nicki and son Harry plan to live above the pub, having given everything a fresh lick of paint and spruce-up.
The pub had fallen out of favour with locals in recent months but the brothers believe there is still plenty of support for it to stay as a pub and become the centre of the community again.
“I really think we can make it work,” said Kevin. “Some people think we are mad but it has got the potential to work if we do it right. It has a good feel to it. The great thing is the whole family is getting involved to get it up and running.”
They plan to be open by Easter.
Police in Norwich have launched an investigation after a woman claimed in a tweet she had knocked a cyclist off their bike.
max temp: 13°C
min temp: 7°C