Norfolk village has new pub - after dry 40 years

In years gone by if you wanted a drink in the North Norfolk village of Hindringham you had plenty of choice.

During the middle of the 19th century there were six drinking holes – The Chequers, The Golden Anchor, The Falgate, The Crown, The Dukes Head and The Red Lion.

But gradually the pubs closed down and since 1968 when the Red Lion shut its doors for the final time, the community has been without a local.

However, that has all now changed and yesterday glasses were raised as the village near Fakenham – which has 200 homes – bucked the trend of decline as the official opening was held for the Pavilion pub.

The brand new freehouse has been built on the site of the old sports club next to the playing fields thanks to a �200,000 fundraising drive in the village.

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Licensing rules meant the old sports club could only be used by members and guests but the Pavilion pub is a facility for everyone.

It will be open six days a week and will offer a wide variety of food. The Pavilion aims to be a community hub and also be available to hire for functions.

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North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb pulled the first pint to the delight of a packed bar and said: 'I think this is a fantastic achievement that we have got to this point. You have got a fantastic facility for this village and you are very, very lucky.'

Hindringham Playing Field Committee has built the pub and it will be operated by franchise holder Rob Eustace.

Committee chairman Peter Mounfield said: 'This is a wonderful facility for the village and you can see by the number of people here today how important it is for the community.'

He told those at the opening: 'Without your support we would not be here today. The strong support enabled the committee to go forward and we now have this. The indications are that it is going to be a success.'

Mr Mounfield added: 'Hindringham has a village hall and it is important but a different facility to the pub.'

He praised retired builder John Elliott, who has been project manager.

'Without John's professionalism we would not have this great building,' said Mr Mounfield.

Jeremy Greenwood's mother bought the former Red Lion when it closed and is delighted that the new pub is open.

'It means a huge amount to me and we are the envy of the locality. The villages around here like Field Dalling, Bale, Barney, Fulmodeston and Sharrington have not got pubs.

'Pubs are closing in other places and this is a bit of good news after all the bad news. I think it will be supported by local people.'

Mr Eustace will run it alongside a team of staff and said: 'We have done it for the village and want to put Hindringham back on the map.'

COMMENT – Page 16

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