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New people at Hellesdon pub hope for return to glory days

PUBLISHED: 14:37 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:37 27 January 2014

The Bull at Hellesdon. Victoria MacDonald and Tony Webster. Photo: Bill Smith

The Bull at Hellesdon. Victoria MacDonald and Tony Webster. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

The new people behind a revamped Bull at Hellesdon are hoping to make it more of a “talking” pub by getting rid of the pool tables and Sky TV.

The Bull at Hellesdon. Victoria MacDonald and Tony Webster. Photo: Bill SmithThe Bull at Hellesdon. Victoria MacDonald and Tony Webster. Photo: Bill Smith

The popular pub, which is the only one left at the heart of Hellesdon, has closed for refurbishment, before it reopens in mid-February under new management.

The Reepham Road pub has had a chequered recent history but it’s well-loved in the community, and new publicans Victoria and Grahame MacDonald are looking forward to the challenge.

Mrs MacDonald, who is a Norwich city councillor for Lakenham ward, also runs, with her brother-in-law James Spalding, the Cellar House in Eaton, and the King’s Head in Brooke.

The landlord and manager at the Bull will be Tony Webster who will be leaving his job as assistant manager at the Red Lion in Stiffkey. Mr Webster is an experienced publican who has worked at other pubs and restaurants.

Mrs MacDonald said: “We are very excited about it. There will be a change of signage, repainting inside and out, and changes to the furnishings and lighting.

“We are all aware of the history of the Bull and looking forward to bringing it back to its glory days.

“For us, it’s about making it popular again, a family pub and a talking pub. That’s why we will be getting rid of Sky TV and pool.

“The Bull is a classic 1930s pub and we want it to be known for good drinks, good food and good company.

“We have been talking to lots of people in the community, who are looking forward to it being open again.”

An Enterprise Inns spokesman said: “We are very pleased to welcome Grahame and Victoria MacDonald as the new publicans of the Bull in Hellesdon.

“They are experienced and well-respected pub operators with a good local knowledge of Norwich and are committed to re-establishing the pub as the focal point of the local community.

“The pub is currently undergoing a programme of refurbishment and we hope to reopen in three to four weeks.”

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign. To see more stories from the campaign visit

Is your local holding a special event or undergoing refurbishment? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email


  • Enterprise Inn pub mmmh

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    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Sounds like it will be a real fun place to drink...if you are over 85 yrs old.

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    Carlton Burns

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Great! Get rid of the foul mouthed hoodied yobos that currently frequent it and we'll have our local back. Ross - my dad was a regular at the Man On The Moon in the 60s.

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    Only Me

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • So glad to see it is not shutting as way too many are. Also nice to see them making it a non tv pub and then they may get some trade doing food. I will pay it a visit when it opens. Lets just hope The Falcon just up the road reopens. Anyone remember The Man On The Moon just up the road?

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • No sky tv, but probably a dodgy tv stream. Just like most other pubs in the uk.

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • no football, .. good luck with that idea, closed by christmas

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    Blocked User

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • A return to the glory days by getting rid of the football on TV in there?!! Good luck with that. Always has been a football pub.

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Smudger your comment "always has been a football pub" just about says it all seeing as it's been closed a while. I think the new people have it bang on, TV is the biggest conversation killer there is, and they want it a talking pub, best of luck to them I hope it does well ;)

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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