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Village's pub has been restored, redecorated and reopened

PUBLISHED: 17:45 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:49 24 May 2019

Some of the team who helped to Beeston Ploughshare pub. Pictured front and centre are the new pub manager Becca Musgrave and one of the volunteers, Kim Wheeler. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Some of the team who helped to Beeston Ploughshare pub. Pictured front and centre are the new pub manager Becca Musgrave and one of the volunteers, Kim Wheeler. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Archant

It took several years of campaigning and four months of hard work, and now one Norfolk village is finally getting its pub back.

Becca Musgrave, manager of the Beeston Ploughsare, which has just reopened. Picture: STUART ANDERSONBecca Musgrave, manager of the Beeston Ploughsare, which has just reopened. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

More than a few residents of Beeston, near Dereham, will be cheerily ordering drinks at the Ploughshare, which shut in 2016, as it reopens its doors today (Friday, May 24).

Kim Wheeler, one of the project managers on the 16th Century pub's restoration, said the venue was looking fine and was fit to resume its place at the heart of the village.

Mr Wheeler said: "It's almost a dream come true. It's something that we wondered would ever happen, because it took us three years to raise the money and get the developer to agree to sell it to us.

"We've been fundraising ever since to pay for the expense of refurbishing it."

The new May Burrell Room at the Beeston Ploughsare pub, which has just reopened. Picture: STUART ANDERSONThe new May Burrell Room at the Beeston Ploughsare pub, which has just reopened. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

The community raised £250,000, including £105,000 given by village residents to save the pub. They set up a company called Beeston Community Enterprises (BCE), which bought the pub on January 31, and dozens of volunteers and tradesmen pitched in to clean up the building, repaint and put in new floors, ceilings and fittings.

The pub will initially only be serving drinks, and after further work will open a kitchen for hot meals, a shop offering local produce and essentials like milk, a cafe and a function room.

The pub will have one full-time employee, manager Becca Musgrave, and the rest will be run by volunteers.

Ms Musgrave, who worked in the pub for a year before it shut, said: "I'm really excited that it's reopening. I used to work here and it's great to be back. It looks a lot better than it used to, a lot fresher."

The new bar at the Beeston Ploughshare pub. Picture: STUART ANDERSONThe new bar at the Beeston Ploughshare pub. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Different parts of the pub's interior celebrate links to Beeston's heritage.

The main bar has been named the 392 Crusaders bar, in honour of the US Air Force bomber group was stationed nearby and the aviators who used it as their watering hole.

The room that will serve as a cafe has been named after May Burrell, a midwife from Beeston who was known as Sister May, and a cosy nook has been named for Jem Mace, a legendary boxer who grew up in the village.

MORE: Work starts to bring derelict Norfolk pub back to life.

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