Change of hands for Old Buckenham pub as landlords move down the road to New Buckenham

Julie Derges and David Francis will be closing their other pub, The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham to c

Julie Derges and David Francis will be closing their other pub, The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham to concentrate on runniing the Inn On The Green which they have owned for 4 years. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A village pub is to change hands after its current landlords decided to focus on their second inn just two miles down the road.

Julie Derges and David Francis will be closing their other pub, The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham to c

Julie Derges and David Francis will be closing their other pub, The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham to concentrate on runniing the Inn On The Green which they have owned for 4 years. Pictured with Head Chef Paul Christian on the left. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

David Francis and partner Julie Derges have run The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham for eight years, taking it from a down-and-out watering hole to a thriving part of the community.

But the pair will now downscale and move down the road to the Inn on the Green, in New Buckenham, which they bought four years ago.

On Monday, The Gamekeeper owners Enterprise Inns confirmed that a new landlord will take the reins when the couple leave at the end of the month.

Mr Francis said: 'We've bee running this for eight years now and we will be sad to leave. It was down on its knees when we took it over two years into a ten-year lease.

'We've completely changed it from a drinking and fast food pub to what some people have called an upmarket restaurant. We've built up some loyal customers here.'

They will continue to trade in Old Buckenham until Sunday, November 22, when they will plate up their last famous roast dinner.

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Mr Francis said the decision to move to the New Buckenham pub was made when price negotiations with Enterprise Inns failed.

He said: 'The main thing for us is to let us customers know what we are doing, to thank them for all their support and to say that we hope they will come and visit us and see what we've got going on.'

The Inn on the Green was built in 1898 as a railway hotel named The George amid failed plans for train route between Attleborough and Diss.

A spokesperson for Enterprise Inns said: 'We would like to reassure the residents of Old Buckenham that the Gamekeeper will continue to trade at the heart of the village and we hope they will visit to welcome and support the new publican, who will be taking on this popular pub at the end of the month, when the current publican leaves.'

What do you think of the news and do you have a story about a pub in your area? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk