A village pub that was at risk of being shut forever has scooped South Norfolk Council’s community pub of the year competition.

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The landlords of the Fox and Hounds at Great Moulton, near Long Stratton, spoke of their shock today after winning the annual prize after only a year at the helm.

David Hayes and Jesse Charlebois, who had previously run pubs in London, thanked the community for their support after turning around the fortunes of the historic inn.

The listed pub had been the centre of controversy a few years ago after the owner had tried to turn the Fox and Hounds into a private home. However, the pair have brought the community together again after taking over last September.

They have organised a host of charity parties, barbecues, a “Jubilympics” fete and even staged a “Trannyoke” karaoke event.

Mr Hayes said their family friendly focused ethos and “Route 66 road house” menu had been well received.

“We would have not got anywhere if it had not been for the community. It has been really good for us that the village has accepted us,” he said.

Neighbourhood winners at the council awards were the Waterfront at Diss, Artichoke at Broome, the Worlds End in Mulbarton and the Buck at Morley St Botolph.

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