Hellesdon pub on the brink of reopening - with a new name

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

It has been closed for almost a year and a half, but a troubled Hellesdon pub is to reopen in the coming weeks - under a new name.

The Bull, on Reepham Road, has had a turbulent past with a number of closures and a succession of different people taking over the helm, and closed again in February 2017 – less than a year after the latest landlord took over.

The once popular watering hole has been shut ever since but the company which owns the last pub in the heart of Hellesdon have insisted it would be open for business again soon.

A spokesman for Ei Publican Partnerships, formerly Enterprise Inns, said: 'Refurbishment work at the pub gets underway this week and we aim to reopen the site in the coming weeks. We look forward to welcoming the local community for a drink at The Chestnut Tree in the very near future.'

The change of name was first reported earlier this year after a planning application for new signage when it was confirmed the name would change to The Chestnut Tree as part of the plans to reopen.

As reported in April, Shelagh Gurney, chair of Hellesdon Parish Council, said she intended to mount a campaign to save the name of the Bull.

But Ei Publican Partnerships insisted they were exploring all options around a joint investment plan and wanted to reassure the community they were working hard to reopen the pub as soon as possible.

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As previously reported, John Bunkell was appointed as landlord of the Bull in June 2016 and said he wanted to bring the Middleton's Lane watering hole back to its former glory.

But he left after a dispute between him and members of staff over the festive period could not be resolved.

Drinkers in Hellesdon were once spoilt for choice but have been hit in recent years with the closure of a number of pubs, including the former Firs pub on Cromer Road which shut in 2010 and has since become a Tesco Express and the Falcon pub, also on Cromer Road, which was converted into an East of England Co-op in 2014.

This paper has supported pubs through our Love Your Local campaign.

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