March 4 2015 Latest news:

A famous Norwich pub is looking forward to a new era after it reopened with a new landlady at the helm.

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Annie Goulding said she decided to take over at the The Champion, in Chapel Field Road, after seeing the potential it had.

Annie said: “I saw the potential in it straightaway. The location is fantastic. It’s an historic pub and I felt all it needed to be successful was good beer, good food and some luscious barmaids.”

As reported, The Champion has had a chequered last few years. Last year it was daubed with graffiti and it was burgled three months before that. Meanwhile, in 2009, the then landlords were subject to a vicious attack by unruly customers.

Annie won’t be short of a story or two to regale her regulars with as a year ago she rode a Harley Davidson across the US before ending up in a wheelchair after being hit by a bus in South America.

She returned to the UK earlier this year on crutches but is now fighting fit and running the Bateman’s Brewery-owned pub alongside staff Sophie Clarke, Diane Mottershaw and Jacqui Danks.

On her return from America, she contacted Bateman’s bosses who told her that she could take on the Champion, which was named after bare knuckle boxer Daniel Mendosa who visited Norwich in 1790.

She said the decision to spend a year riding her bike came out of the blue. She had been running the Lord Nelson, in Gorleston, for about six years, and had been in the pub trade all her life.

“It was an adventure of a lifetime but it came straight out of the blue,” she said. “I sold my house, pub, furniture and clothes, and all my material possessions were fitted on to that bike.

“I rode 27,000 miles across 39 states and then south into Central and South America. A bus squashed me in Colombia and I had a couple of major operations. I was recuperating in Colombia for two months in a wheelchair.”

The Evening News has been trying to help pubs in the area in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit

What’s happening at your local? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email



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