Upton residents celebrate pub’s anniversary

Residents of Upton celebrate outside their community owned pub the White Horse.Picture : Jeremy Durk

Residents of Upton celebrate outside their community owned pub the White Horse.Picture : Jeremy Durkin - Credit: Jeremy Durkin

Villagers turned out in force for this special picture to celebrate one year of community ownership for the White Horse, in Upton near Acle.

On July 27 last year more than 170 residents became shareholders in a community interest company which took over the picturesque pub from its previous owners who included long-serving landlord Ray 'Winkle' Norman. Until the launch of a vigorous community campaign it was feared that the hub of the Broadland village near Acle might be lost to housing.

However, at the end of a memorable week of activities to mark the first anniversary, project manager Pat Murch said the outlook could not now look more positive.

During celebrations to mark National Countryside Week as well as the pub's birthday, morris dancing and live bands pulled in the crowds and a three-day beer festival which ended on Sunday attracted more than 1,000 people.

Mrs Murch said: 'Visitors came from a wide area to help us celebrate and nearly drank the pub dry.

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'The pub was kept equally busy serving food and we had record sales for our Friday night fish and chips.'

Following the success of the beer festival, which presented more than 20 different ales as well as five local ciders, the pub's committee has decided to make it an annual event.

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Chef Jamie Moore, who has swiftly built the pub's food reputation since his arrival from The Greens pub and restaurant in Aylsham, said: 'It's great that a little country pub is doing so well. It makes coming to work so worthwhile.'

Manager Amanda Stirling and her assistant Jenna Thurtle both said they were proud of the festival's success and 'the brilliant support the pub got from our locals, plus the amazing support from our real ale suppliers'.

Ms Sterling said: 'We launched our barbecue season which we will be doing again over the bank holiday weekend.

'The music events were truly brilliant. All taking place in the garden on a stage took them to a new level.'

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