A former manager at one of Suffolk’s most iconic pubs that is currently closed wants to put it “back on the map” as she leads a charge to get it reopened.
The Swan Inn, Worlingworth, is well known around the region for people arriving on their horse and carts for afternoons and evenings of traditional music and step dancing, but it has been closed for a number of months since the start of the year.
Wilby resident and former manager at the pub Maxine Southwell, who worked at the Swan between 2006 and 2009, organised a meeting on Wednesday to gauge potential public support for a potential bid to buy the pub and get it reopened.
About 100 people attended — with Miss Southwell describing the turnout as “amazing.”
“It was all very positive,” she said. “Lots of people were chucking ideas around, such as the possibility of opening a shop in the pub, and perhaps doing a bit more food because over the years it has been more wet sales.”
Miss Southwell said a committee of six people had been formed and will meet to discuss the next plan of action, whether a consortium could lodge a bid to buy the pub, or a potentially community-run effort.
It would just mean everything to get it reopenedMaxine Southwell
Another public meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, May 26, doors opening at 7pm for a 7.30pm start at Worlingworth Community Centre.
“Because I worked at the Swan, it really is my passion,” Miss Southwell added.
“The main memory for me was one weekend when we had 27 horses and carts turn up, which I think was a record for the pub.
“It would just mean everything to get it reopened.
“Whenever you talk to people about Suffolk who are not from around here they always mention the Brundish Crown and the Worlingworth Swan.
“It just needs to be saved. It needs a good result, picking up, and being put back on the map,
Teresa Goff, former landlady at The Swan, said it would be “tragic” should the pub not reopen.
“This is the only pub that can accommodate the horse and carts,” she told the Diss Express.
“We had the music and the step dancing, that is the tragedy of this.
“On one step dancing day we would have up to 400 people turn up, and there were youngsters doing that sort of thing, too. It really is sad.
“In my heart I would love to see it open and do all of the stuff it used to do.”