Sprowston’s Beehive pub remembered by sisters who grew up there
09:22 20 January 2014
As Sprowston said goodbye to one of its few remaining pubs, two sisters who grew up there looked back at the time they spent at the Beehive.
Jan Harvey, 71, and her sister Lynn Johns, 66, both held their wedding receptions at the Cannerby Lane local in 1962 and 1964 and still live nearby.
Now grandmothers, the two women came back on Saturday to say goodbye to the place that held so many memories of their childhood.
Their parents, Hilda and Stanley Brown, opened the pub on Tuesday October 27, 1959, and it soon became a “hive” of activity.
The then 12-year-old Lynn, and 17-year-old Jan, lived above the business where Mrs Harvey said, despite her young age, she worked behind the bar to help out at busy times.
“I could still pull a mean pint now,” said Mrs Harvey, who married her second husband, Derek, in 1990.
“I remember if customers were a bit worse for wear, especially if they were really bad, my dad would take their car keys and drive them home – he felt responsible.
“There were no drink-driving laws back then – that was a long time ago.”
When Mr and Mrs Brown left the Beehive in 1965, Mrs Harvey and her sister continued to live nearby in Falcon Road.
They returned just once with their mother before she died 14 years ago.
Mrs Johns said: “There was lots of noise and hard work but they were happy memories.
“The people were so nice – we got to know a lot of them.”
Mrs Johns married husband Peter in 1964 and, like her sister, continued to live in Sprowston where they raised their families.
She said: “It was a very busy pub – especially at weekends, when mum and dad were lucky if they got to bed by 3am.
“There were no glass washing machines then – it all had to be done by hand.”
The two sisters, who still walk past the Beehive building daily, continue to be friends with people they met there,
Mrs Johns is celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary this year, and said it was a shame it wouldn’t be held in the Beehive, where her marriage began.
“Sadly life must go on and things must progress,” she said:
The Beehive Pub closed on January 16 and a Co-operative food store is due to open in its place.
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