Historic pub having to wait a third time to reopen after lockdown

The King's Head in Hethersett which is due to reopen. Photo: Bill Smith

The King's Head in Hethersett which is due to reopen. Photo: Bill Smith

It will be third time lucky for an historic Norfolk pub which is having to wait until lockdown finishes to reopen.

Pub landlord Justin Harvey, who will help run the King's Head pub in Hethersett when it reopens. Pic

Pub landlord Justin Harvey, who will help run the King's Head pub in Hethersett when it reopens. Picture: SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Residents of Hethersett were ready to welcome back the historic King’s Head, after a gap of over 18 months but have been frustrated by a couple of “false starts”.

The venue was due to reopen on November 1 but this was postponed for six days to give more time to prepare the pub.

Then came the news of a second lockdown and the cancellation of a second reopening date of November 7.

So instead of serving behind the bar, licensee Justin Harvey was out walking the Norfolk countryside with his dogs,


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Mr Harvey admitted that the delays have been frustrating for both him and the new landlord at the King’s Head, Ben Woof.

“It’s a real shame but we are still excited about reopening and we hope to be up and running in December,” he said.

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The second lockdown has given Mr Harvey and Mr Woof the chance to make further pre-opening improvements, taking social distancing into account.

“We have been pottering about and doing bits and pieces. It has given us the time to do things properly. People have high expectations because of my reputation and we want to do things right and do them well,” Mr Harvey said.

He is well-known in the area for being at the helm of the equally historic Green Dragon in Wymondham.

MORE: New lease of life for pub which has been shut for more than a yearOn what should have been the “reopening day,” Mr Harvey was walking in the countryside around Silfield with his personal bubble.

And while enjoying the countryside, he admitted that he would have preferred to have been behind the bar at the King’s Head, although he is confident that the pub will be open before Christmas and is already planning for the festive season.

“We buy and upcycle things from local charity shops and make our own wreaths,” he added.

Meanwhile new landlord took to social media with a message that mixed frustration with optimism.

“Should be opening the Kings Head this weekend but here we are back in lockdown. Sad times but we will get there,” posted Mr Woof.

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