PICTURES: A day nearly ten years in the making as pints are pulled at Garboldisham Fox

MDEP-08-10-2016-015 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham crowds watch opening ANL-160910-160653005

MDEP-08-10-2016-015 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham crowds watch opening ANL-160910-160653005

0
Have your say

It was a day nearly ten years in the making.

The Fox Inn, Gardboldisham, has stood in the village for nearly 250 years.

MDEP-08-10-2016-005 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Dray leaves Village Hall ANL-160910-160159005

MDEP-08-10-2016-005 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Dray leaves Village Hall ANL-160910-160159005

And on Saturday, for the first time since February 2007, a pint was served in the Grade II listed pub.

It was the culmination years of hard work by the community, with the sale of the building going through last week.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss cut the ribbon, while the first barrels of beer were delivered via horse and dray cart.

Between 300 and 400 people are expected to have turned up on the day — and not one drop of beer went unsold.

It has been a hard haul but we were determined to do it

Peter Smith

Peter Smith, a director of the Garboldisham Fox Community Interest Company, said it was a “lump in the throat sort of day,” adding the vast number of visitors was “vindication” of the village’s effort to bring back their pub.

Previously owned by the Wellington Pub Company, a group of residents first got together in 2010 to campaign to save the pub.

“It has been a hard haul but we were determined to do it,” he said.

“It is a bit like getting to base camp when you are trying to climb Everest.

MDEP-08-10-2016-014 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Horse & Dray deliver 1st barrel ANL-160910-160622005

MDEP-08-10-2016-014 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Horse & Dray deliver 1st barrel ANL-160910-160622005

“There were a lot more people there than we expected in all honesty, and they were very, very patient because the queue to the bar was stretching out of the front door, but we managed to serve everybody.

“I think my main problem now is managing expectation, keeping the dream alive for the next two years.

“A big part of that is having the micro pub open, letting people come in and have a drink at the weekends.”

Mr Smith said it was hoped a micro pub would be opened at the site within the next six weeks, with electricity, water and heating required, which would be open on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays.

MDEP-08-10-2016-008 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Directors Peter Smith & Robbie Starling unload 1st barrel ANL-160910-160329005

MDEP-08-10-2016-008 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Directors Peter Smith & Robbie Starling unload 1st barrel ANL-160910-160329005

Plans to restore the pub to a drinking establishment with a restaurant could take up to two years, at a cost of more than £300,000.

A refurbishment is required, as well as some planning permissions.

Mr Smith said this would be funded through a share issue, grants, and revenues from the micro pub.

A planning application to turn the closed pub into five houses was rejected in 2009, while previous bids from the community for the pub had been turned down.

MDEP-08-10-2016-007 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Directors Peter Smith & Robbie Starling unload 1st barrel ANL-160910-160303005

MDEP-08-10-2016-007 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Directors Peter Smith & Robbie Starling unload 1st barrel ANL-160910-160303005

MDEP-08-10-2016-019 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham MP Liz Truss cuts opening ribbon ANL-160910-160852005

MDEP-08-10-2016-019 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham MP Liz Truss cuts opening ribbon ANL-160910-160852005

MDEP-08-10-2016-001 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham ANL-160910-160004005

MDEP-08-10-2016-001 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham ANL-160910-160004005

MDEP-08-10-2016-004 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Director Peter Smith ANL-160910-160128005

MDEP-08-10-2016-004 Fox Inn re-opens Garboldisham Director Peter Smith ANL-160910-160128005