May 18 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 22, 2013
Victoria MacDonald has been in the pub/hotel industry since she was 16 – 26 years ago – and still thinks it’s a fantastic job.
She started off in the hotel industry and has since worked in colleges teaching NVQs and apprenticeships.
Ten months ago, with her brother-in-law James Spalding, she took on the King’s Head in Brooke, near Poringland, and they have now also taken on the Cellar House in Eaton, which they plan to reopen in mid-April.
She said: “We have the perfect division of work between us. He does the food and the maintenance and looks after the chef’s team, while I do the book-keeping and look after the beers and wines.”
The Cellar House in Eaton is her local, and she’s keen to try to return it to her former glory.
She said: “It’s not been in good shape under a management contract. Eaton deserves another good pub, to complement the Red Lion.”
She has also previously run the Angel pub in Sudbury, Suffolk with her husband, Grahame, and since September 2010, she has also been a Labour Norwich city councillor for Lakenham ward.
But she does not think she has bitten off more than she can chew.
“James and I will split ourselves between the two. We have got a very strong team in both and our respective spouses will also be helping out,” she added.
Her husband Grahame is a lecturer at City College Norwich and James’s wife Kate is a primary school teacher.
She said the King’s Head in Brooke was a community pub.
“We look after The Brooke football team and people can come in here with their mates, their girl, or their grandmas. I love this pub and it’s part of the community. The vast majority of landlords run their pubs properly. If someone has had too much to drink we don’t serve them, and we ask customers to leave quietly at night.”
While we were chatting she received a tweet about the beer duty escalator being scrapped in the budget, which she welcomed.
She said: “There are still issues around beer ties, and the way the pub companies operate, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
However, she said it would be down to the wholesalers to determine whether the price of a pint would come down. “It’s more a case that it won’t go up now,” she said. “However, a cut in VAT would have been fantastic, and that would have led to an instant change in the price of a pint.”
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 www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal