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Landlady with a love of live music reopens Norwich pub

PUBLISHED: 08:56 10 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:38 11 March 2018

The Reindeer pub landlady Lou Wilding with friends Jo Will, Rob Tasher and DJ Skalypso. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.

The Reindeer pub landlady Lou Wilding with friends Jo Will, Rob Tasher and DJ Skalypso. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.

Archant

A woman who has worked as a landlady in Norwich for 20 years has opened her newest venture.

The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.

Lou Wilding had a soft reopening for The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road this week.

Ms Wilding’s speciality in the business is live music and the pub has several upcoming events, including Americana band Swamptruck from Cambridge today.

An album launch by Norfolk eight-piece The Vagaband at the pub on March 17 will mark the official opening.

Ms Wilding said: “The new Reindeer is all about beer, friends and music.

The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.

“The last few days have been good, we’ve had a lot of people popping in to say hello, lots of old customers.

“With the Belle Vue shutting down we’ve had a lot of people from there come to have a look.

“It’s been a really nice atmosphere.”

The traditional wooden floor is particularly good for acoustics, Ms Wilding said, and for the swing dancers she plans on hosting.

The Reindeer pub dog Chillie. PICTURE: Sophie SmithThe Reindeer pub dog Chillie. PICTURE: Sophie Smith

Ms Wilding, originally from Wymondham, was previously landlady of The Wildman on Bedford Street, owned by Punch Taverns.

Ms Wilding, who brought her team of staff and DJs with her said: “It’s been a really big move for us, because we’ve had two very busy years at The Wildman, which has been great.”

She also was landlady of The King Edward pub on Aylsham road 12 years ago.

The Reindeer is owned by Elgood’s Brewery and stocks all of Elgood ales, as well as various guest ales from local Norwich breweries. Ms Wilding is also looking forward to being part of the Norwich City of Ale trail.

The Reindeer pub live music area. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.The Reindeer pub live music area. PICTURE: Sophie Smith.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the pub landlord was Wolfe Witham, founder of the Wolf Brewery in Attleborough.

Ms Wilding said: “We are taking The Reindeer back to a traditional pub in which a lot of people have fond memories of the good old days when it was run by “Wolf” and had the old brewery out the back.” Mr Witham would often have a folk band play at the pub, a tradition that Ms Wilding is keen to bring back.

A band led by Norfolk folk musician and former EDP cartoonist Tony Hall will be playing every Wednesday night from April.

The pub will also soon have pool, darts, board games and free wifi.

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