May 23 2013 Latest news:
By david bale
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A popular Norfolk pub has had just two landlords in more than 80 years, with the current owner celebrating his 40 years in charge this week.
Paul Anderson-Cowles reopened the Brick Kilns pub in Little Plumstead on December 18, 1972. His predecessor, Philip Colk, ran the pub for nearly 40 years as well, from 1931 until it closed in 1969.
Mr Anderson-Cowles, 65, has no idea why the pub has just had two landlords since 1931, but admits that 40 years ago he never imagined he would still be in charge in 2012.
“I never dreamed I would be still here, but it just happened. I don’t know why both myself and Philip Colk both spent about 40 years at the pub.”
When the pub opened in 1972, he was a tenant of Norwich Brewery, but he bought the freehold on the pub many years ago.
He added: “I cannot believe that 40 years have gone by. I can remember exactly what I was doing 40 years ago... I remember the day was foggy and everything happened at the last minute. Someone flooded the carpet and my car’s windscreen washers broke and filled my shoe with water in the car.”
The newly reopened Brick Kilns was one of the first pubs in the countryside to do food as well as drink. Forty years ago supermarkets never sold drinks, so a lot of their business was in takeaway bottles of alcohol, he said.
During Mr Colk’s tenure, Sunday was ‘change the sand day’. “There was sand on the floor of the pub, and it was changed once a week. Philip used to say, ‘Why go to the beach when you’ve got sand here?’.”
The number of staff employed at the pub 40 years ago was in single figures, while it’s now about 50, part and full-time.
But one thing that has not changed, is the presence of animals at the pub. He said: “Philip used to farm the land at the back of the pub. We still have lots of animals. About 95pc of our lunchtime customers stop to look at the animals in the paddock when they leave.”
As the gates to the Royal Hospital Gardens at Chelsea opened to the world’s media yesterday, with a frenzy of activity as photographers and camera crews vied for the best vantage points, there was also a very palpable sense of relief among the hundreds of nurserymen and women who have come to exhibit their prize horticultural specimens that their stands were complete and looking their very best.