‘A big blow for the town’ - sadness at the sudden closure of The Bull in Fakenham

The Bull in Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Bull in Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Sadness has been expressed over the sudden closure of an historic town centre pub in Fakenham.

‘The Bull Inn’ Bridge Street Fakenham. Date: unknown. Photo: Fakenham Community Archive.

The Bull Inn Bridge Street Fakenham. Date: unknown. Photo: Fakenham Community Archive. - Credit: Fakenham Community Archive.

The Bull closed its doors on Wednesday.

The reasons for the closure have not yet been made public.

Photographer Keith Osborn, who was a regular at the pub and has worked voluntarily to promote local businesses in Fakenham, said: 'It was the best pub in town, in my opinion, so this is really sad and disappointing news.

'I don't know what has happened to prompt the closure.'

Town councillor Richard Crook said: 'The Bull was a real traditional pub which was of real value to the town. Its closure is a big blow for Fakenham.'

The Bull is recorded to have been a pub as far back as 1837.

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It was given its name as it was located on Bull Street, which is now Bridge Street.

It is said that the road's name was changed after a visit to Fakenham from the soon-to-be Queen Victoria.

As the story goes, the future monarch became stuck in a ford in her carriage and vowed never to return to Fakenham unless a bridge was built.

The bridge was duly built but Queen Victoria still never returned to the town.

Traditionally furnished, selling quality locally-sourced food and real ales, with no loud music or fruit machines The Bull developed a fine reputation amongst pub-goers in Fakenham.

Lisa Mallett, who runs a sweet shop and the tourist information hub in Fakenham, said: 'The Bull was a good pub to go to for a Friday night drink and was great for food at lunch time.

'It was a proper, traditional, pub and there are aren't many around like it these days.

'It has four B&B rooms, which are badly needed in Fakenham.

'With ladies' day coming up at the racecourse this weekend I expect they would have been fully booked.

'I hope everything can get sorted out or someone can come in and take it on and get the place open again.'

Figures from rates and rents specialist CVS show that a fifth of pubs - or 11,443 - have closed between April 2010 and the end of last year, which is the equivalent of four pubs every day.

There is now the lowest ever number of pubs in England and Wales, at 43,231, down from 54,674 in April 2010.

.What do you think? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

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