Landmark Norwich pub receives new lease of life

St Ed's students outside the old Mitre Pub

St Ed's students outside the old Mitre Pub - Credit: Katherine Limbach

Many Norwich residents may fondly remember the Mitre Pub, a landmark pub that's been on Earlham Road since the 1930s.

St Ed's students hard at work at the Mitre Pub

St Ed's students hard at work at the Mitre Pub - Credit: Ian Dyble

Since being used for various business ventures, the pub has now found its new purpose, as a cafe and community hub for local residents.

The pub has been bought by the neighbouring St Thomas' Church.

Reverend Ian Dyble, said: 'I've tried to buy the pub when it's been on the market before because we thought it would be great.

'We bought it last Christmas with the help of donations from our fantastic congregation. We want to create a sense of community in the area, and this is the ideal spot.'

St Ed's construction students hard at work on the Mitre Pub

St Ed's construction students hard at work on the Mitre Pub - Credit: Ian Dyble

The hard graft of bringing the pub into a new era is the work of volunteers in the parish and students at the St Edmunds Society, an organisation which helps young people who are disillusioned with the education system back on to a career path.

Neil Cropper, deputy chief executive officer of the society, said: 'We have a historic relationship with the parish as our first hostel was in the area.

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'All these 16 to 19-year-olds are on our construction study programme. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to get out on site, practising skills, and gaining a broader insight into the community.'

Revd. Dyble agreed, adding: 'It's good that this building is expressing our values before the project has launched.'

Thomas Withers-Ryan is one of the students on the course. He said: 'It's really good to go out on site and get some very practical knowledge.'

The 18-year-old continued: 'It's great because we can apply the theory we learned at St Ed's and apply it.'

Paul Selby, course senior tutor, added: 'This gives the kids a massive opportunity to find a trade they enjoy. We teach them electrics, tiling, decorating, so they can look at all the trades in the industry.

'We also teach them health and safety so they can gain an insight into that, and have an overall picture of a building site.'

16-year-old Ryan Jackson added: 'The course is really good: the staff are so helpful.

'I didn't get on much at school, I used to muck about, but here I've changed and grown up.'

The Mitre pub building is due to open in its new form during next year's Easter holiday.

'We don't yet know what community services we'll offer here,' Revd. Dyble added.

'We're going to learn from the community what it is they feel they need, and once it opens see what else people would like. What we are sure of is that we'll be open for coffees and light lunches. and engage with our parish community in a different way.'

The St Ed's society has a rolling enrolment cycle, so new individuals are able to join every month in a range of courses. For more information, visit:

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