'The time has come' - Landlord of seaside pub retires after 50 years at helm
- Credit: christaylorphoto.co.uk
His name has become synonymous with Sheringham for almost five decades.
Now, after nearly 50 years in the pub trade, The Crown’s landlord Bob Brewster is preparing to pull his final pint.
A popular character on north Norfolk’s coast, Mr Brewster arrived in the busy seaside town back in 1974.
Originally the landlord of The Windham Arms based on Wyndham Street, he took over the running of the pub, based on Lifeboat Plain and boasting spectacular views of the North Sea, in 1977.
He said: “I was immediately made to feel at home. What could be better than living in a thriving seaside town on the wonderful north Norfolk coast?
“However, the time has come to pull my final pint.
“Running a pub is a rewarding way of life. I have met so many people with interesting stories to tell and had many fascinating conversations. I’ve seen generations of families come through the door and made a great many friends along the way.
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“I have also employed hundreds of fantastic, loyal and dedicated people. My staff have been the backbone of the business and without their hard work I would not be where I am today. Thank you to you all.”
Mr Brewster has seen many changes over the years, from pubs having to close in the afternoon during the early days to a relaxation of licensing laws.
"Food is now available all day and customers take advantage of this," he added.
“When we had to close at 11pm it was often difficult to get customers to leave, but people’s habits have changed. Unless there is entertainment most country pubs are empty before 11pm.”
Live music has always been popular there, with The Crown becoming famous for its Wednesday night entertainment. For well over 30 years bands have performed there, Mr Brewster explained.
“Being midweek, popular bands - such as Lee Vasey, Pure Passion, Agent Orange, Floating Greyhounds and countless more - were available to play as most of their bookings were for weekends.
“I have had so many customers over the years tell me how they have looked forward to Wednesday gigs, many of them travelling from far and wide to see their favourite bands.
“In recent years, live music has been more concentrated on the summer months, performing on our outside stage overlooking the sea, Various bands have entertained during summer afternoons, with customers enjoying a meal and drinks with their families while taking in the sun and sea views.”
Mr Brewster praised the “dedicated volunteers” in Sheringham who devote their time and energy into promoting the town, an act, he said, has made it the popular destination it is today.
“From February’s Viking Weekend and the Crab and Lobster Festival, to the Potty Morris dancing weekend in July and the Sheringham Carnival in August - which has always provided first-class entertainment throughout the town – Sheringham always has something going on.
“The town also holds its 1940s weekend in September, which has become huge. We are invaded by thousands in 1940s themed outfits; soldiers, land girls, evacuees, spivs and many more. It’s a wonderful experience with entertainment provided.”
Over the years, customers have donated generously to various different charities, raising approximately £3,000 every year. Past recipients include Sheringham RNLI Lifeboat, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, East Anglian Air Ambulance, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, and Cancer Research UK. Donations have included providing walkie talkie phones for lifeboats and four guide dogs.
Thanking everyone who has been involved with The Crown over the past 50 years, he added: “I would like to sincerely thank my wife, Debbie, for all her constructive guidance and help over the years and help operating our business.
“Thank you all for your loyalty and support over so many years. It is time to take things a little easier and I hope that our paths will cross again.
“Thank you for so many wonderful memories.”
The Crown’s kitchen will close on Friday 28, January. The pub will be open on Saturday 29, January for drinks only and will close at 11pm. The pub will then remain closed for a period of refurbishment before reopening under new management towards the end of March.