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Mum-of-two saves local Thurton pub and celebrates a thriving first year

PUBLISHED: 15:35 14 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:35 14 November 2014

Bailey Starling and Polo Behbehani from The George and Dragon, Thurton are celebrating their 1st anniversary.

Bailey Starling and Polo Behbehani from The George and Dragon, Thurton are celebrating their 1st anniversary.

A former barmaid who faced redundancy bought the pub’s business lease with her partner and is now celebrating a thriving first year.

Forty-six-year-old mother-of-two Hailey Starling helped out at the George and Dragon in The Street, Thurton, for 15 years, but last year faced redundancy.

She decided to save the pub with partner Polo Behbehani, 39, and thanks to support from patrons, they are now doing well.

She said: “The previous owners decided to close the pub in October 2013, and I was made redundant.

“It was really sad to see the George close again. Having lived in Thurton for almost 21 years I have seen the loss of the local shop, post office and garage.

“Polo and I decided we could not sit back and see the pub close again and decided we should give it a go ourselves. Having never run a business before it was quite scary, but with offers of help and plenty of support we were quite confident we could do it.”

They reopened the pub before Christmas last year, and introduced a menu in January. They also have a pool team and ladies’ darts team and the Dragon Barn at the back of the pub is available to hire.

Ms Starling said: “Thanks to everyone for their help and support during our first year and a special thank you to our customers.”

Have you got a pub success story? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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