'I'm chuffed to bits': Pub landlord finalist in Publican of the Year Awards

Simon and Karen Peck are the owners of The White Horse in Chedgrave, in Norfolk.

Simon and Karen Peck are the owners of The White Horse in Chedgrave. - Credit: Simon Peck

A landlord known for his determination, generosity and community spirit has been nominated for publican of the year. 

Simon Peck has been running The White Horse pub in Chedgrave for the last 14-years, but to many in the village, he is more than just a landlord. 

Whether its fundraising for charitable causes, organising events or offering an ear to his punters from behind the bar, the 48-year-old has become a much-loved figure within the community. 

The White Horse pub in Chedgrave.

The White Horse pub in Chedgrave. - Credit: Simon Peck

And even through the coronavirus pandemic, he continued to support local residents in whatever way he could – with takeaway food and regular quizzes - as well as ensuring his business would survive. 

Through Mr Peck’s determination and willingness to adapt, he was able to weather the storm and today The White Horse, which is owned by Punch Pubs and Co, is the “busiest it has ever been”. 

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra on Saturday, September 10. - Credit: Simon Peck/Carl Davidson

Mr Peck is now a regional finalist in the company’s Publican of the Year Awards 2021 – to be held on Tuesday, March 29 - for his efforts.  

If he wins, he will become a finalist in the national awards. 

Most Read

The father-of-two from Loddon said: “It’s quite overwhelming in a way. I'm just a good old Norfolk boy who is quite happily running a pub three miles from where I was born. I’m just doing what I love. 

“It feels great. I’m cuffed to bits. But I am also very humble about it, there are many people in the industry who have not been as lucky as I have.” 

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra on Saturday, September 10. - Credit: Simon Peck/Carl Davidson

Over the last two years, Mr Peck has invested in his beer garden with the introduction of new marquees, improved outdoor seating, lighting and an outdoor sound system for live music.  

Looking to the year ahead, he said they are looking forward to an event-filled summer. 

The White Horse is also set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra on Saturday, September 10. 

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra on Saturday, September 10. - Credit: Simon Peck/Carl Davidson

Charlie Ashwell, operations manager for Punch Pubs and Co in East Anglia, added: “Simon has completely transformed his business during the most difficult trading years. 

“He never gives up and he does a huge amount of work for charity, he delivers great events and focuses on what his community needs. 

“But he also has amazing standards with brilliant beer quality and excellent food. He delivers the whole package.” 

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra

The White Horse pub is set to bring back its event, Last Afternoon of the Proms, with a 40-piece orchestra on Saturday, September 10. - Credit: Simon Peck/Carl Davidson