Now Norwich city pub is getting a brand new look

PUBLISHED: 10:51 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:51 05 February 2014

Evening News Pub of the Week, The Brickmakers in Sprowston. Landladies Charley South and Emma Teasdale.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Evening News Pub of the Week, The Brickmakers in Sprowston. Landladies Charley South and Emma Teasdale. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

It’s a Norwich institution that has played host to acts including The Animals and Ed Sheeran.

And now The Brickmakers live music pub is getting a makeover, part of which pays tribute to the local names that have graced its stage.

As well as opening up the bar area, improving the stage and replacing bench seating with oak furniture, the Sprowston Road venue is also updating the large mural which adorns the front of the pub.

Charley South, who runs the pub with her mum Pam and best friend Emma Teasdale, said: “We did the current sign when we moved in 11 years ago. It depicts the people who were playing here at that time, but a lot of the people on it have moved on and aren’t in bands now. Some of them sadly aren’t with us any more.”

The new sign, which is still being made, features photographs of 71 faces that have all played at The Brickmakers.

“With the new design having been kept under wraps, there’s no doubt artists will be curious to see just where they fit into this part of local history,” said Charley.

The works are a way of saying thank you to the customers and performers who use the pub.

“We have been here for 11 years and it’s really easy to get complacent,” said Charley.

“One day rolls into the next, we work stupid hours and before you know it a year has passed. Your to do list never gets finished. It’s always good to reflect on your year and see what you want to do in the next year. We are very dedicated to what we do here. It’s a job you do for love not for money. We want it to look and feel nice for our customers.”

Some regulars are even helping out with the refurbishment.

Keith Delargy has been going to the pub since he moved to the area 11 years ago and this week decided to use some of his holiday from work to lend a hand with the decorating.

“Everyone is getting involved,” he said.

“It’s friendly here. After a while it’s a second home - you don’t go anywhere else.”

The venue is also keen to provide a place for local bands to perform, something Charley knows from experience can be difficult.

“Ninety per cent of the bands that play here are local,” she said.

“Our heart is with the local musicians. As a kid I found it difficult to find somewhere to play and I gigged here when I was 14. We welcome them in with open arms. We had Ed Sheeran play here. He headlined our Brickfest event a couple of years ago just before he got famous.

That’s what we are here for, to welcome up and coming bands. It’s nice to know we played a tiny part in it.”

With works scheduled to finish next week, the pub is hosting a ‘Refurb Party’ on Saturday, February 15.

And to make it a night to remember, two Norwich bands will be playing at the venue and formally launching their new lead singers.

Pure Passion, which has been a stalwart of the music scene since winning a national battle of the bands competition in 1995, welcomes Gemma Fairweather and Nightlife, formerly the Emma Hall Band, sees Lauren Watson take over on vocals.

The party starts at 9pm and landlady Pam says she has no doubt the pub will be packed to the rafters - “My advice is get in early - we can’t wait,” she said.

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