Video: UEA students film regulars at “the best pub on the planet” in Norwich

The Fat Cat pub in Norwich which, with landlord Colin Keatley, featured in the film made by UEA students David Westby and Dave Shraga(right). Photo by Simon Finlay. The Fat Cat pub in Norwich which, with landlord Colin Keatley, featured in the film made by UEA students David Westby and Dave Shraga(right). Photo by Simon Finlay.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
12:50 PM

Move over Steven Spielberg, a group of talented UEA students have made a short film about Norwich’s Fat Cat which customers call “the best pub on the planet”.

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They paid a visit to the West End Street business and spoke on camera to landlord Colin Keatley, staff and customers, and put together a 6-minute film as part of their coursework.

One of the students, David Westby, 21, who lives in Dereham Road, said: “I’ve just finished at the UEA, but when we made the film we were students at the international school of development, which has a partnership with Postcode Films, which made it.

“It was quite funny how we chose to film the Fat Cat. I live close by and every time I go in there, there’s always a buzz about it, and I thought it would be interesting to capture it, as it’s unique.

“We were recording there for about a day and then went back for another couple of hours. We managed to get quite a collection of dogs and moustaches on the film.”

The award-winning pub has been attracting customers from far and wide for decades ever since Mr Keatley opened the doors in 1991.

And some of the regulars were present to talk about what makes the pub special on camera.

One customer said: “It epitomises everything that is good about an English pub. It’s an oasis, and one of the best pubs ever.”

Another customer, wearing glasses and holding his dog on his lap, said the pub was like a river. “It flows and you get a different crowd in here. I love the conviviality and, obviously, the well-kept beer.”

Another man added: “This is what all pubs used to be like. It’s a second home to me. My first home is where I sleep, but that’s about it. You come off a 12-hour shift and you want to have a drink at the Fat Cat.”

Other regulars said it was the only pub in England where you could buy a roll for 60p.

A woman customer added: “We came here on holiday seven years ago and I’ve been in the Fat Cat ever since.”

Another added: “My friend drinks out of a Leffe glass, but she’s not drinking Leffe. But she’s allowed to do it, because the staff know she’s not going to nick it.”

Member of staff Hamish Wright said: “It’s a proper old boys’ pub. We keep customers’ glasses for them, as some people are a bit particular about which glass they drink out of. If they bring their own glasses with them, we’ll store them for them.”

Pub manager Russell Waterton added: “The customers are the best and they make it what it is. They love the banter and take the mickey out of each other. It’s a very friendly place.”

Mr Keatley said: “I love this pub and I shall probably be here until I die. I look forward to coming to work every day.

“It’s a nice environment to drink in, and you are never bothered by idiots. You get all walks of life in here, from a dustman to a professor, and they all come in for one reason, to drink beer.”

The film was made by students Chikondi Gausi, Valerie Larsen, Dave Shraga, Ed Owles and David Westby.

On a personal note, I love the film, but I don’t know if I’m sold on the music, yet.

Have you made a film about a Norwich institution? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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