Campaigners who have given ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to save The Ploughshare at Beeston have something to celebrate

The residents of Beeston and the surrounding areas are campaigning to buy The Ploughshare pub. Pictu

The residents of Beeston and the surrounding areas are campaigning to buy The Ploughshare pub. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Villagers fighting to save a 16th century pub have been thanked for giving their 'blood, sweat and tears' as a campaign passes its one year anniversary with positive news.

Boxing legend Jem Mace (1831-1910). Picture: LIBRARY.

Boxing legend Jem Mace (1831-1910). Picture: LIBRARY. - Credit: Archant

It has just emerged that a planning application to transform the site of The Ploughshare at Beeston, near Dereham, into four homes has been withdrawn on advice of Breckland Council planning officers who said it is unlikely to receive permission at this stage.

And while campaigners still have a fight on their hands, they start their second year with the same grit and tenacity displayed by the village's boxing world champion Jem Mace more than 100 years ago.

The site's owner has turned down a £185,000 offer from campaigners and it is believed he has plans to revisit the housing proposals.

A campaign spokesman said: 'We would like to thank all those who have supported us with blood, sweat, tears and financial contributions.

'We remain positive that by continuing towards our goal of buying and re-opening The Ploughshare we can achieve it.'

The pub has been closed since last January and, in March 7, 2016 Beeston residents formed a campaign group which aims to reopen the venue and run it as a community asset.

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Campaigners established the not-for-profit company Beeston Community Enterprises in May.

So far, £195,000 has been raised from grant funding, social enterprise loans and fundraising events.

Campaigners are now continuing to raise money and are offering shares to the public.

The Ploughshare is located next to the one-time home of legendary 19th century boxing world champion Jem Mace, who is credited with revolutionising his sport. He 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 and is rumoured to be haunted.

To see how you can help the campaign, go to

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