Sisters come back to Dereham to reopen the oldest pub in town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2012

The Chery Tree pub in Dereham is to re-open with new landladies Sarah Godsoe and Morgana Hale (right). Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Chery Tree pub in Dereham is to re-open with new landladies Sarah Godsoe and Morgana Hale (right). Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

The pints will be flowing again at Dereham’s oldest pub when two sisters who have returned to their home town reopen it on Friday.

Regulars have been mourning the loss of the Cherry Tree in Theatre Street since 200 years of history came to an end in January 2011 when it called last orders for the final time.

The property has planning permission to become a restaurant and the town had been filled with rumours it would be turned into a Chinese takeaway or pole dancing club.

However, sisters Sarah Godsoe, 28, and Morgana Hale, 21, who grew up in Dereham but moved to King’s Lynn when their parents took over the Tudor Rose Hotel in 2001, say they want it to be a traditional pub.

Both have worked in the trade for a number of years, and will be at least the third generation of their family to run a pub.

Morgana said she remembered being taken to the Cherry Tree when she was young and sitting on the bar playing dice with her father, while Sarah said she had visited the pub once or twice when she was at college.

Sarah said: “It’s a prime opportunity to come back to our roots. All my school and college friends are coming back. It will be a traditional drinking pub – warm and friendly.

“We had one older lady knock on the window and speak to our main decorator and she said she was absolutely over the moon and could kiss him when she heard it was opening as a pub.”

The pair found out last week they also have responsibility for a strip of road that connects Theatre Street to the Cherry Tree car park, and said in the future they will repair the large pot holes that have caused drivers and pedestrians problems for several months.

The Cherry Tree will open at 7pm on Friday December 14, and blues and jazz band Stone Pony will perform from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Sunday.

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