Smallburgh pub is blessed to celebrate new landlady

Rev Barry Furness blessing the Crown Inn at Smallburgh, watched by new landlady Eunice Wortley. Photo: Karen Bethell Rev Barry Furness blessing the Crown Inn at Smallburgh, watched by new landlady Eunice Wortley. Photo: Karen Bethell

Saturday, March 1, 2014
6:09 PM

Liquid with a difference was poured in a village pub to celebrate a new landlady and era for the community hub.

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The Crown Inn at the centre of Smallburgh, near North Walsham, has been taken over by Eunice Wortley, 31, originally from the Ivory Coast in west Africa.

And to celebrate she arranged for the pub to be blessed by the Rev Barry Furness - a first for the rector of the Smallburgh benefice.

Mrs Wortley, who moved to Norwich in December 2010 after marrying George Wortley, said: “We came here last December and knew the landlord and landlady were retiring. When I walked in I felt at home and thought it was perfect. It was amazing.

“A friend told me it was for sale and I jumped at the opportunity. I know it is hard work but I’m devoted to it.”

The blessing was witnessed by dozens of people.

Mrs Wortley grew up in the capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan, where she studied law at university. She worked in HR before moving to Norfolk.

She met her husband, who is general manager of the Norfolk Club in Norwich, while he was on holiday in Ghana in 2010. She was on holiday at the same time.

The couple married in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

Mrs Wortley still speaks to her parents and siblings in the Ivory Coast via Skype and they hope to visit soon.

She said: “I will bring a bit of an African twist to the food.”

The landlady added: “Fitting into the community was the most amazing experience. I have had amazing support. I want the pub to be a social hub for the community. I want it to be about family.”

Mr Furness said the pub was a place of welcome for everybody and described performing the blessing as a “privilege”.

Do you have an interesting pub story in north Norfolk? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk.

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