Landlord and landlady of village's last remaining pub to retire
PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 20 May 2019
The landlord and landlady of the last remaining pub in a Norfolk village have announced they will be stepping down this year.
Clint Smith and Shirley Rogers will be leaving The Dog Inn in Horsford in December after a nine-year stint behind the bar.
If a new operator is not found for the Holt Road premises, it will mean the village will be left without a pub.
Mr Smith, 56, said trade had been "up and down" over the years, forcing the couple to invest £60,000 of their own money to keep the pub afloat.
But he said the reason for moving on was not due to finances.
"We initially had no intention of moving," Mr Smith said. "But with Shirley having enough and me not being well, we felt now is time to go. We will miss it extremely."
He said his partner should have retired at 60, but she carried on working until she was 74.
The couple came to Horsford 11 years ago to run The Brickmakers, which is also on Holt Road.
They took on The Dog Inn, which is owned by the Wellington Pub Company, two years later and initially ran them both.
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Mr Smith said: "Trade has been up and down, it is like any village pub.
"But in the current climate it's very difficult and we have to keep putting money in to keep trading.
"If this does shut, it will be one of those where all the people who don't use it will moan that it has closed."
The couple ran The Brickmakers for about five years before turning their attention to The Dog Inn.
Despite other landlords taking it on, The Brickmakers eventually closed.
Miss Rogers said: "It's a nice pub and we have a nice flat upstairs, but it is hard work, stressful and very long hours.
"We have made some really nice friends from this, no doubt about it."
On December 6 the couple will close the pub for the last time.
Mr Smith said they intend to "go off into the sunset" and spend three months travelling around Spain in a motor home before returning to Norfolk.
The Dog Inn was first recorded as being a pub in 1709. In the 1800s it became known as the Spotted Dog.
Mr Smith said while many pubs branch out to include food, The Dog was a traditional "wet pub" in that it only serves drinks.