Today’s Pub of the Week is the Dyers Arms in Lawson Road, where the landlady is the great-granddaughter of a 19th century licensee

One of the first licensees at the Dyers Arms in Lawson Road, north Norwich, was Thomas Fielding in 1899 – and the current landlady is his great granddaughter, Lana Swift.

Ms Swift, therefore, knew all about the pub when she was given the chance to take it on with her partner, who died 18 months ago. She knew that her great grandfather was the landlord at the pub for about 20 years, and that in 1916 he was convicted for permitting drunkenness.

She said she could imagine her nan running in the rooms at the pub when she lived there as the publican's daughter.

While there might not be much drunkenness in evidence at the pub now – at least not when I visited! – it's still a popular hang-out for people in the area.

Regulars appreciate the homely atmosphere, reasonably priced drinks, and don't mind that the pub does not serve any food.


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They also like it that each customer is respected and looked after and that the landlady appreciates their business in these tough times.

Ms Swift has been the landlady at the privately owned freehouse for 10 years, but she has been in the pub trade since she was 14, when she started work for current Ribs of Beef landlord Roger Cawdron's father Ted at the King Edward VII pub in Aylsham Road.

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She has been in charge at several pubs since, including the Golden Fleece in Wells, the Iron Duke, now the Duke of Wellington, in Waterloo Road, and the Duke of Norfolk in Mousehold Lane, now an Indian restaurant.

She's proud to call the Dyers Arms a 'local' and a 'community' pub, and wants people to come in and experience its 'Tardis' effect.

'We are a bigger pub than people going by would probably think,' she said. 'It's a bit like Dr Who's Tardis.

'We also have a patio area at the back, which people don't know about, which we redecorated earlier this year.'

The pub has a men's darts team which meets on Monday and a ladies' dart teams on Wednesday and a pool table to keep the punters happy. The pub hosts a DJ night about once a month and hosts charity events, and Ms Swift said she gets great support from the staff.

But like pubs nationwide it's been hit in recent years, and she added: 'Hopefully, there is a future for pubs like ours. The smoking ban knocked us back and the price of alcohol in supermarkets does not help – but we have a hardcore of drinkers here.'

The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs in our Love Your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign, visit www.eveningnews.co.uk/loveyourlocal

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