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Anger at sad demise of Norwich pub

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 January 2011

The Canary pub in Heaartsease.

The Canary pub in Heaartsease.

Archant © 2010

Scores of regulars who packed a doomed community pub for its last ever New Year’s Eve bash have spoken of their anger and sadness that it is to close later this month.

The final death knell for the Canary pub came at a meeting of Norwich City Council’s planning committee in October when councillors reluctantly agreed it should make way for affordable homes.

On New Year’s Eve more than 100 people filled the pub in Watling Road, Heartsease, to pay it an emotional farewell on one of the last days it will ever be open.

Tracey Hurrell, 32, who has been coming into the Canary since she was a teenager and who has been involved with the pub in recent months, said it will be a sad day for the whole community when the pub shuts on January 10.

She said: “It will be the end of an era, big time. I’ve been coming in here since I was a teenager and am part of the fixtures and fittings really.

“It will be the end of an era for everyone - the end of most people’s lives I should think. It’s really sad.”

Pub regular Shaun Squires, 35, said: “I’ve been drinking in here since I was 18 and this place is a great pub.

“Everyone loves it and no-one wants to see it go. Everyone in here went to school together. It’s just a joke.

“My dad drunk in this pub when I was eight. People have been coming in here for 25 years. It was the only place we could get a drink - we haven’t even got a pub on the estate now. If you haven’t got a pub to go to all it will do is force more people to go into the city. It just makes me sick.”

The pub had been spared the axe at a previous meeting following a community campaign to save it, but after developers Dove Jeffrey Homes revised their plans and made clear it would make way for affordable homes, councillors gave it the nod.

Michael Duffield, landlord of the pub, said: “It’s just a shame it’s closing down. It’s the elderly people I feel sorry for because they’ve got nowhere to go now.”

Lindsay Maher, a former landlady of the pub, said: “I’m really proud to have had something to do with the pub. It’s still a lovely pub right until the end.”

A spokesman for Dove Jeffrey Homes told October’s planning meeting if it had been viable, it would have remained a pub.

Meanwhile regulars in another part of the city look to be facing life without a local in 2011 after the Duke of Connaught closed on New Year’s Eve,

As previously reported the landlord of the Livingstone Street-based pub has applied for planning permission to knock it down and build two houses on the site.

Speaking in November 2009 Paul Waller said he was making plans for his retirement and that was why he put in the planning application to Norwich City Council.

The Evening News has been highlighting the need to save our pubs through our Love Your Local campaign. If you have a pub story call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk.

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