Calls to protect last pub left in the heart of Hellesdon as The Bull Inn closes yet again after local petition

Pub manager Tonya Howe (left) and landlord John Bunkell (right) at The Bull in Hellesdon. PIC: Peter

Pub manager Tonya Howe (left) and landlord John Bunkell (right) at The Bull in Hellesdon. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

Calls are today being made to safeguard the future of the last pub in Hellesdon after it closed it doors yet again.

The Bull Inn has closed just months after a new landlord took charge after “reported issues” with st

The Bull Inn has closed just months after a new landlord took charge after reported issues with staff. Picture: Dominic Gilbert - Credit: Archant

Enterprise-owned the Bull Inn has closed just months after a new landlord took charge after 'reported issues' with staff.

The Bull, the only pub left in the heart of Hellesdon, has had a somewhat troubled past with a succession of different people taking over the helm of the venue on Reepham Road, which closed for a number of months in 2011.

It closed again in 2014 for refurbishment before new landlords Victoria and Grahame MacDonald took charge, but they left after less than 12 months citing 'financial reasons'.

The Bull at Hellesdon, Evening News Pub of the Week. Photo: Steve Adams

The Bull at Hellesdon, Evening News Pub of the Week. Photo: Steve Adams


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John Bunkell was appointed as the new man in charge of the lease in June of last year, and in December said he wanted to bring it back to its 'rightful position as a mainstay of the Hellesdon community'.

He said: 'It's had a checkered history over the last number of years and what I want to try and do is bring it back as a community pub.'

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Mr Bunkell told this newspaper he needed the support of the community to make the pub a success, but in recent weeks hundreds of people signed a petition to have him removed.

It was alleged a dispute between Mr Bunkell and members of staff over the festive period could not be resolved and as a result a number of them had left.

The Bull at Hellesdon, Evening News Pub of the Week. Photo: Steve Adams

The Bull at Hellesdon, Evening News Pub of the Week. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Enterprise Inns had confirmed it was aware of the issue and said it had been working with Mr Bunkell to rectify the problem.

A spokesperson for ei publican partnerships said last month: 'We have been made aware of the reported issues at The Bull Inn at Hellesdon and are working closely with the publican to help him resolve them as soon as possible.'

But on Thursday, management of the pub confirmed it would be closing its doors again.

After news emerged of the closure, the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA said they would be seeking to have the venue listed as an asset of community value as soon as possible.

Neil Bowers, pub protection officer , said: 'It would be a great shame if this pub was to close on a permanent basis. The nearest pubs for Hellesdon residents would be The Otter in Thorpe Marriott and The Silver Fox in Taverham.'

? What do you think about the closure? Email dominic.gilbert@archant.co.uk

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