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Norfolk village pub reopens after five years

PUBLISHED: 10:16 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 20 March 2018

Richard and Wendy Pyne are the landlords of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Richard and Wendy Pyne are the landlords of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A mid Norfolk village left with no amenities for five years now has its local pub back.

Villagers came out to see the official opening of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian BurtVillagers came out to see the official opening of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian Burt

George Freeman, MP for mid Norfolk officially reopened the Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham.

The previous owners of the pub had closed it down in 2013 and the 400-year-old building had remained empty since then.

New owners of the pub Wendy and Richard Pyne visited Norfolk to start a bed and breakfast. After heading to North Pickenham and speaking to residents of the village, they decided they had to own a pub and reopened the Blue Lion.

They decided the unveiling would be a new swinging sign instead of cutting a ribbon.

The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham was officially opened by George Freeman MP with landlords Richard and Wendy Pyne. Picture: Ian BurtThe Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham was officially opened by George Freeman MP with landlords Richard and Wendy Pyne. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Freeman was invited to reopen the pub, he said: “Our local pubs are at the heart of our rural communities and heritage, and I am delighted to be officially reopening the Blue Lion Public House in North Pickenham. I hope it will be a real asset to the village – as it often has been in the past. The key is ‘use it, or lose it.’”

A community project was launched a few years ago to raise enough money to reopen the pub, although this fell through.

The official opening on Friday, February 23 also included live music and local bands playing.

Mr Pyne, joint owner of the pub, said: “We’re really excited, we had a lot of interest from villagers When the previous owner closed the pub it really upset villagers. North Pickenham is a very small village, until now it had nothing. No pub, no post office.

The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham was officially opened by George Freeman MP with landlords Richard and Wendy Pyne. Picture: Ian BurtThe Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham was officially opened by George Freeman MP with landlords Richard and Wendy Pyne. Picture: Ian Burt

“The closest pub for people in the village was in Swaffham, around three miles away. Some of the older residents in the village 
can’t get there and buses are not that regular to and from North Pickenham so it’s not 
so easy.

“Residents in the village are very happy about the pub reopening, it’s a chance to get out and meet people. We’ve already had people asking us if we can run coffee mornings and monthly lunch clubs.”

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