A Norfolk village has been named the best neighbourhood in Britain after 400 locals teamed up to save its last remaining pub.

Nextdoor gave the title to Stoke Ferry, near Downham Market, in recognition of how the mission to save The Blue Bell pub brought the community together. 

The Blue Bell closed in March 2018 after operating in the village since 1794.

Fearing it would be bought and converted by housing developers, 400 locals fundraised to purchase it.

Eastern Daily Press: The Blue Bell pub in Stoke FerryThe Blue Bell pub in Stoke Ferry (Image: Google)

They completed their project in June 2021 and the pub has since become a hub of activity, hosting events from craft clubs and open mic nights to beer festivals.

It is now run by 35 volunteers including Debbie Stewart, who moved from London 10 years ago.

“For the first six years of living here, we only really knew the chap next door," she said.

“Since we started volunteering at The Blue Bell, we seem to know everybody.

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"I remember one day we were sitting in the pub garden and so many people were coming over to chat and ask questions, my daughter turned to me and said ‘mum, I think I preferred it when you didn’t know anyone’.”

She added that the pub has been "a lifeline" for many locals.

“I hated my first year living here at the time, not knowing anyone, but now I wouldn’t change it for anything," she said.

"I’ve met so many people from different backgrounds, with different stories, that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for The Blue Bell.

"You learn things about people and find things you have in common – it’s really pulled everyone together.”