Fears over the future of The Griffin pub in Thorpe St Andrew as owners look to sell

Joanna Francis, 55, is the daughter of The Griffin's former landlords and was born in its back bedro

Joanna Francis, 55, is the daughter of The Griffin's former landlords and was born in its back bedroom in 1962. Photo: Luke Powell. - Credit: Archant

There are fears over the future of a once-popular pub which is due to be put up for sale by its owners.

In its heyday, The Griffin, in Thorpe St Andrew, would see coach-loads of customers turn up for a drink and bite to eat.

But today, the boarded-up pub, on Yarmouth Road, is a shadow of its former self.

Now, Ei Publican Partnerships - formerly known as Enterprise Inns - has announced it intends to sell the premises.

And it has sparked fresh concerns about what will happen to the building.

Joanna Francis, 55, is the daughter of the pub's former landlords and was born in its back bedroom in 1962.

She said: 'It is really quite sad because back in the day when mum and dad ran it, it really was a busy pub.

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'During the Great Yarmouth races we used to have up to 10 coaches full of people turn up.

'I hope I am wrong, but it is a two acre plot and I do understand what is happening around Norwich in terms of development.

'I just really hope it doesn't happen there.'

It is believed that the pub has stood empty for around two years.

Over the past decade, various landlords have tried to make a success of it, with one even turning it into a Tapas-themed restaurant.

A spokesman for Ei said the pub's freehold will be marketed 'shortly' through its agent Savills.

'From time to time we identify sites that we do not consider have a long term future within our business,' the spokesman said. 'After careful consideration the decision has been made to sell The Griffin.'

Ian Stamp, chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale Norfolk branch, said the pub had been made an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

As an ACV, the community will have six months to put together a bid to the buy the premises once it is put on sale.

Mr Stamp said: 'I wouldn't say it is the last chance for this pub. Instead, it is the first decent chance for someone to have a real go at it.

'If you have the money, there is no reason why you can't make it a success.'

Ian Mackie, mayor of Thorpe St Andrew, said the town council would 'welcome' anyone who came forward with an investment proposal.

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