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London real estate company buys boarded-up Thorpe St Andrew pub

Joanna Francis, 55, is the daughter of The Griffin's former landlords and was born in its back bedroom in 1962.

Joanna Francis, 55, is the daughter of The Griffin's former landlords and was born in its back bedroom in 1962.

Archant

The new owners of a boarded-up pub in Thorpe St Andrew remain tight-lipped over its future.

The Griffin Pub at Thorpe St Andrew when it was open. Photo: Bill SmithThe Griffin Pub at Thorpe St Andrew when it was open. Photo: Bill Smith

London-based asset management company Marlinspike confirmed it was behind the recent purchase of The Griffin pub, on Yarmouth Road.

The once-popular premises was put up for sale by Ei Publican Partnerships last year, sparking fresh concerns about its future.

Gary Leigh, a director at Marlinspike, said the company was still “working up ideas” for the site.

He added: “Nothing is going to happen in the short term.”

When asked whether the premises would remain as a pub, Mr Leigh said: “anything is possible at this stage.”

In its heyday, The Griffin would see coach-loads of customers turn up for a drink and bite to eat.

But today, the boarded-up pub is a shadow of its former self.

Speaking about the condition of the premises last year, Joanna Francis, who is the daughter of the pub’s former landlords, said: “It is really quite sad because back in the day when mum and dad ran it, it really was a busy pub.

“During the Great Yarmouth races we used to have up to 10 coaches full of people turn up.

“I hope I am wrong, but it is a two acre plot and I do understand what is happening around Norwich in terms of development.

“I just really hope it doesn’t happen there.”

Marlinspike’s website states it has worked on a variety of projects in joint venture with banks, fully listed property companies, high net worth individuals and family offices.

Its previous projects have included the transformation of large-scale office space into residential accommodation.

Richard Dixon, pubs protection officer for the Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “We don’t want to see the loss of another pub. If a planning application does go in, we will be looking out for it and putting in an objection.”

Over the past decade, various landlords have tried to make a success of The Griffin, with one even turning it into a Tapas-themed restaurant.

According to Norfolk Pubs website, the premises was recorded as the Griffon in 1789.

Its name was then changed to the Griffin & Pleasure Gardens in 1888.

Almost 100 years later it became the Gunga Din’s Old Colonial House, before being named The Griffin in 2000.

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