Jack celebrates his 97th birthday in the Norwich pub where he grew up

It was a trip back in time for Jack Hubbard when he celebrated his 97th birthday yesterday at the Lamb Inn where he grew up in the 1930s.

Mr Hubbard's grandmother Lilian Hubbard ran the pub for 37 years and he lived there from the age of 14 until after the Second World War when he was in his 30s.

During that time he helped his grandmother at the pub, located just off the Haymarket in Norwich, and met his future wife Laura and best friend Jack 'Charlie' Seaton, 89, there.

His wife died aged 89 two years ago and they had no children, but Mr Seaton, who lives in Stalham, joined the party yesterday at the pub, which reopened under its best-known name this week after a �200,000 refurbishment.

Mr Hubbard said: 'The things I remember most were the fire we had here in about 1938, and another time, when I'd left the door open, and a policeman came in to tell me, when I was sleeping in bed. I thought he was a burglar.'


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The birthday party was held in an alcove at the pub which he remembered as the tap room.

'The windows upstairs look very similar to the ones we used to have here,' he added, 'but most other things are very different. But I'm very impressed with the new pub, especially upstairs.'

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Mr Hubbard still lives in the house in Gladstone Street, off Dereham Road, that he shared with his wife and regularly walks into the city centre. The house is also the place where his wife was born.

Mr Hubbard served in the navy during the Second World War and his friend Charlie was in the RAF, but both served in the South Pacific.

His grandmother Lilian, who was 107 when she died, and her husband William took over the Lamb in 1916 and ran it together for 20 years.

When he died she ran it for another 17 years on her own, but with her grandson helping out. Mr Hubbard had lost his father Walter in the First World War.

Yesterday's party was also a nostalgic visit for Mr Seaton, who said he was a regular at the pub in the 1940s and early 1950s, until he was married, with Mr Hubbard as his best man. And it was also a trip back in time for Barry and Sandra Read, from Hellesdon, who look out for Mr Hubbard.

They have fond memories of the Lamb because they celebrated their wedding reception in the upstairs rooms in 1968.

When Mr Read started work aged 15 at Frost engineers, Mr Hubbard was his foreman. They have kept in touch ever since, even though Mr Hubbard has been retired for 32 years.

As reported, the newly renamed Lamb Inn was officially reopened earlier this week by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Jenny Lay.

The landmark inn was a Henry's Caf� Bar before it closed for the redevelopment and was also previously known as the Rat and Parrot.

Renaming it as the Lamb takes the pub back to its origins when it opened as the Holy Lamb in the early 1700s.

The pub, which is run by husband and wife licensees Clive Hitchens and Michelle Gianadda as part of the TCG estate, has been given a complete makeover inside.

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