Campaigners fighting to save village pub near Dereham in positive mood after raising more than £130,000
- Credit: Ian Burt
Campaigners fighting to save a 16th century village pub start the year in positive mood having raised more than £130,000 so far.
Villagers in Beeston are aiming to raise £350,000 to save The Ploughshare, which has been closed since last January, amid fears the pub will be sold to a property developer.
A campaign committee formed in March and, in May, they established the not-for-profit company Beeston Community Enterprises.
Sales of shares, successful grant applications and local fundraising activities have taken the pot to more than £130,000.
News around the outcome of another major grant application to the Plunkett Foundation is expected in the next few days.
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Henry Dennett, chairman of Beeston Community Enterprises, said: 'We have come a long way and have achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time.
'It is only the support from local people giving time, attending events, buying shares and supporting the cause that has made it all possible.'
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The Ploughshare has a fascinating history.
It is located next to the one-time home of legendary 19th century boxing world champion Jem Mace, who used to organise boxing contests in the pub's car park.
The pub was also the regular watering hole for airmen from the American Airforce 392nd Bombardment Group during the Second World War.
Mr Dennett said: '2016 was a real triumph for us; starting in March from nothing to a fully credible organisation with some serious fundraising achieved.
'2017 will see much more being achieved in the way of fund raising, securing further grant funding and other actions.
'Our goal remains to buy The Ploughshare and ensure it is run by the community for the community.'
A fund-raising quiz night will be held at Beeston Village Hall on February 23 and further fundraising events are planned throughout the year.
Shares are still available by applying to the committee.
Teams of up to six people can enter the quiz and entry is £5 per person.
Contact Kim Wheeler on 07763 884002 or John Shakespeare on 01328 701553 for further information.
For more information about the campaign, go to www.beestonploughshare.com or call Mr Dennett on 07702 481984.