Photo gallery: Norwich Trafford Arms landlord steps into stocks for charity - as part of a rich legacy of community spirit

Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is led to the stocks and doused by Emily Nudd and Norwich City

Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is led to the stocks and doused by Emily Nudd and Norwich City legend Robert Fleck. Photo: Bill Smith

As local pubs go, they don't come much better - or more loved - than the Trafford Arms.

Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is led to the stocks and doused. Photo: Bill Smith

Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is led to the stocks and doused. Photo: Bill Smith

The Grove Road watering hole has been the home of real ale, street parties and fund-raising for longer than most care to remember - with current landlords Chris and Glynis Higgins having racked up 21 years in charge.

Its community focus has seen it become so popular that regulars have even bought homes on the same street just to be within walking distance of their friendly local.

On Saturday, the couple held their latest fund-raiser - with Mr Higgins stepping into the stocks to be soaked for charity.

City striker Robert Fleck was first in line to throw a sponge - as dozens waited eagerly in line for their turn to drench the former Sheriff of Norwich.

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Mr Higgins said: 'It seemed like a great idea at the time. I wasn't expecting anybody to turn up but we've had hundreds.'

With a barbecue and a face painter on the bill, party-goers raised funds for St Martin's Housing Trust, a homelessness charity, and Leeway, which helps those suffering from domestic abuse.

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Derek Spanton also brought shire horse Herbie, who showed off his unusual talent of drinking a pint of Wherry from a glass.

But the jubilant party wasn't the first of its kind - in 2012, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, roads were closed, banners were hung and regulars made the most of the glorious sunshine.

Crowds also flocked to the pub for parties held by former landlords to mark the end of Second World War, the 1953 Coronation and Diana and Charles' 1981 wedding.

And in 2011, the Higgins even organised a royal wedding breakfast.

It's this legacy of community spirit, supporting local causes and turning any event into an excuse for a good day out that has kept the pub at the heart of a thriving community.

Claiming that he intends to make 'the pub the hub of the area', Mr Higgins, who is originally from Macclesfield in Cheshire, put its success down to its regulars.

'Community is the buzzword here - it's a great bunch of people. Whenever we hold anything or put on anything they are always so quick to support us and help us out,' he said.

33-year-old Emily Nudd, communications officer at Leeway, moved to Trafford Road seven years ago to be just metres from her local.

'Chris and Glynis are the reason this place is so popular - for them, it's all about making the pub the hub. It's not just about serving beer and food, it's about caring for people and local causes. He takes an interest in what people are doing.'

In 2004, the pub, in conjunction with Bennett's electrical, raised more than £11,000 for those affected by the tsunami disaster.

Russell Crowe, of Rowington Road, has been drinking at the Trafford Arms for more than 40 years.

The 57-year-old put its success down to it being a 'true community pub'.

'You don't get any fights here, there's never any bother - it's good drink and a nice place to be.'

Chris Ladbrooke, 46, of Hall Road, has also spent eight years frequenting the Trafford Arms.

He said: 'My dad is 86 and I would not have a problem with him being here at all - it's safe and family friendly. Chris makes everyone feel at home.'

Do you have fond memories at the Trafford Arms? Let us know by emailing

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