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Historic pub set to reopen with new look after 'significant refurbishment'

PUBLISHED: 16:40 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:40 10 October 2019

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town, under the stewardship of Shaun Campling. Pictures: Mark Boggis

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town, under the stewardship of Shaun Campling. Pictures: Mark Boggis

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A new steward has taken over as a popular pub has opened its doors once more.

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark Boggis

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft - which dates back to the 1890s and was also known as Volunteer Stores in about 1911 - reopened this week following a significant refurbishment project.

The historic pub reopened on Tuesday, October 8 and it has become the first pub in Lowestoft to be owned by the Craft Union Pub Company.

The pub is being operated by Shaun Campling.

Mr Campling, 29, has worked at The Feathers in Gorleston - which is owned by the Craft Union Pub Company and run by his mother Karen - for the past two-and-a-half years.

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark Boggis

He said: "This is the first Craft Union pub in Lowestoft.

"The builders have been in and all the extensive works have been carried out over the past two to three months.

"A lot of hard work has gone on this past month to get where we are and it was only a few days ago when I had chance to get in and see everything."

With Craft Union's philosophy of developing quality pubs at the heart of local communities, The Volunteer offers a range of drinks at affordable prices, television screens covering all the best sporting action from Sky Sports and BT Sports, as well as pub quizzes, live music, a dart board and themed evenings.

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark Boggis

Mr Campling added: "My mum runs The Feathers in Gorleston, and I have worked there two-and-a-half years learning how to do everything - cellar maintenance, back office work, bar work.

"We are hoping to make it a nice and friendly place for people to have a drink and enjoy themselves."

Previously a split level pub, extensive works have been carried out by Craft Union with a complete internal and external refurbishment.

Mr Campling said: "People have been positive and said it is a nice place.

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark Boggis

"It has been good to have a chat with a lot of locals who have come in so far - a lot of people seem to like it."

Mr Campling, who hails from Gorleston, has previously worked in Lowestoft's High Street.

The pub is open seven days a week, from 11am to midnight Monday to Saturday and noon to 11am on Sunday's.

No one aged under-18 is allowed in the pub.

The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe Volunteer pub in Lowestoft has reopened - as it becomes the first Craft Union pub in the town. Pictures: Mark Boggis

History

A grand opening to unveil The Volunteer pub in Lowestoft is due to take place on Friday, October 11 with a DJ and karaoke evening.

With a sports bar feel, it is hoped that live music and various themed-evenings will be held in the future.

Mr Campling said: "With BT and Sky Sports I can run two different games at any one time.

"We have race days every Tuesday and we're hoping to get a darts team and pub quizzes up-and-running."

He aims to trial poker nights and board games themed-evenings, and admitted speaking to the locals already this week had been of great benefit.

Mr Campling said: "They have given me a good understanding of the history of the pub.

"Obviously Carole (Miller) was a much-loved, long serving licensee of The Volunteer who was very well known in the town.

"Enterprise Inns (now known as Ei Group plc) used to own the building and there was a previous landlord earlier this year.

"The Craft Union Pub Company now owns the pub and they have carried out extensive works over the past few months."

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