Thornham Magna pub takes the plunge to help charities
A specialist diver was called to a village pub this week – to collect thousands of coins thrown into a wishing well during the last decade.
On Wednesday, David Swaine spent more than two hours at the bottom of the well inside The Four Horseshoes in Thornham Magna, gathering up as many coins as he could – with the business set to donate the cash to good causes.
Tom Parkhurst, who has run the pub since 2008, said: “David was in there for more than two hours.
“In fact, he was in there so long that he used up the oxygen in his tanks before all the coins could be taken out.
“He said that when he first went down, he was sat on a floor of coins at the bottom of the well.”
David will return next month to continue removing the coins, which is something of a tradition at the establishment.
We thought that doing it this year would be the perfect way to celebrate our 10th anniversary
“I believe it was last done in 2006, two years before we took over the pub,” added 29-year-old Tom.
“We thought that doing it this year would be the perfect way to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It is important to support local charities.”
The money will be split between Street Forge Workshop, a charity based in the village which provides services to adults with disabilities, the Beyond The Wall charity based in the walled garden on the Thornham Estate, which works with disabled people, and to Kevin Cook, from Gislingham, who ran the London Marathon in memory of his son, Jack, who died after a five-year battle with cancer.
“It’s hard to say how much we have raised so far – but we have recovered about half a wheelie bin full,” added Tom.
“Back in 2006, I think they raised about £1,500. We want to raise £2,000.”
Tom became the landlord of the 12th century pub at just 19 years old, after completing an apprenticeship in catering, hospitality and management at Otley College, Ipswich.
“Running the pub has been an adventure, but has been challenging, too – especially as we took it over in 2008, when the financial crash happened,” said Tom.
“We just had to crack on and we are supported by a great team of staff, with help from my mun, Marion, and dad, Mark.”