The Fat Cat, Norwich, was the CAMRA Anglia Region's Pub of the Year and goes forward
to the super-regional and national stages.
The county winner was The Palmerston Arms, Peterborough, beating our 1998 Town Pub of the Year, the Free Press.
Joe Deever, a SF writer, plus business partner Brian Ash have bought the
Three Hills, Bartlow (near Linton), a fifteenth century Listed property. It's the
village's only pub, with a lounge bar, a 2-section restaurant and a beer garden.
J.D. Wetherspoon's latest attempt to open the first pub in Frinton
was rejected in late October by Tendring District Council but JDW seem determined to keep trying.
Boss Tim Martin is planning a new city centre bar concept called Wetherspoons Express, a smaller version
of the current format and possibly anticipating 24-hour opening.
Owners Jane & Terry Walden have refurbished The Milkmaid Tavern, Willingham as a real ale & food pub,
with a separate dining area and its own folk club.
The West End House, Ely, has a new landlord, Enzo Teti, a well-travelled Italian.
This is his first pub though he's been a regular at The West End for the last three years.
Fortunately he has no plans to change the pub's increasingly rare status as a no-food,
good-drinking, good-chat local.
If eventually he does introduce food, it will be in a separate extension - but for now
it's business as before with the same real ale line up: Pedigree, Directors, Theakson's XB, Ruddles Best and Websters.
Enzo has however also made some improvements, with a fine new patio replacing the under-achieving
"garden", an upgraded gents loo and a general redecoration. A new pub sign will follow soon.
Enzo's long-serving predecessor Geoff Pridmore has retired and the legendary unfriendly pub cat has gone with him.
- The Hoops, Great Eversden
has been on the market at £125,000 and is now "subject to offer".
- The Three Kings, Haddenham, has been boarded up for several months but it has at least sprouted
"for sale - freehold" signs.
- The Brook House, Sutton, has been closed for over a year though a significant amount of building
work has been going on at the back, leading to speculation that conversion to a new use is planned.
However "this pub for sale" signs still hang outside.
- The Globe, Newmarket Road, Cambridge, has estate agents signs which keep changing - for sale,
under offer, sold, for sale... Sometimes there's no sign at all! Meanwhile the fine old building
(the site of a former brewery) continues to decay after about ten years of disuse.
- The King's, Reach: the licensee has dropped his
asking price by £20K but still no takers. The pub is to all intents and purposes closed.
- Just over the Essex border, the 15th century King's Head, Elmdon plus the village's shop and Post Office closed within
a few months of each other this year.
The pub was bought two years ago by the Famous Pub Co., had a string of landlords and then was sold to one of its directors to become a private house.
The villagers staged a day of protest against change-of-use permission on October 25th,
including setting up a free bar in the bus shelter.
- Not far away, the Red Cow, Crishall, is under threat. The owner wishes to convert it and the
adjacent village shop to a private house. The pub dates from 1450 and is thriving. A village action group
has been formed to fight the change.
The new landlady of The George Inn, Girton, is Jean Green, formerly an international archer.
Jean aims to get The George "back to a village pub again". Real ales include Flowers IPA,
Ansell's Mild and a changing guest from the Tapster's Choice range.
Rod & Ann Vass, the long-serving tenants of The Three Tuns, Willingham, retired at the end
of September. Rod's cellarmanship skills have seen the pub appear in 17 consecutive editions
of the Good Beer Guide. We welcome the new tenants, Joanna Errington and Derek Griffiths.
Other pubs with new tenants include:
- The Hoops, Barton - David & Fiona Saby
- The Clarendon Arms, Cambridge - Barry Fagg
- The Waggon & Horses, Linton - Michael Cockayne
- The Five Bells, Burwell - Robert Read and Nicola Read
- The King's Head, Fen Ditton - Jan Bullen and Mark Brown
At the time of writing both The Cross Keys, Saxon St., Cambridge,
and The John Barleycorn, Coton were being looked after by temporary
licensees following the departure of previous tenants.
Other recent changes of landlord:
Support for Rural Pubs?
According to a report in The Publican (19/10/98), the Rural
Development Commission's pilot scheme for freehold
rural pubs has had a low response. The scheme provides up to 25% of start-up
costs for conversion or upgrade for opening Post Offices or shops.
Tied houses are excluded as supposedly funds are available to them through other means.
Coun. Robin Driver of South Cambs. District Council is campaigning for help for
rural pubs, such as via rate relief. His local, the Ickleton Lion, is a case in point.
Current Government rules allow relief for shops with rateable value of under £10,000 in settlements
of less than 3,000.
ALE November 1998 No. 292
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