Owner of historic B&B excited as 10-month Covid closure ends
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa
The owner of a grade-II listed bed and breakfast in the heart of Norwich is gearing up for the return of customers after 10 months without income.
Clive Harvey, 71, of the Gothic House just off Magdalen Street currently has 37 guests booked from May to June, which equates to 52 nights.
After being deemed ineligible for any financial support from the government or city council during the lockdowns, Mr Harvey is eager to welcome customers back as part of step three of the government roadmap from Monday, May 17.
Ahead of reopening, Mr Harvey said: "I will be doing extra cleaning and tidying up over the weekend as a final push.
"I do need the income from the B&B as it is an essential aspect of my life. I can only give thanks that I have saved money to get me through the last 10 months.
"I am so grateful to all these people who have made bookings which feels so nice. Yesterday, a lady phoned who stayed here three years ago. She spoke so highly of the place and wanted to come to visit her grandson at university."
Mr Harvey has been running the business on his own since the summer of 2007 and attracts many customers eager to learn about the Regency building.
Believed to be built in the early 1800s, it is known to have been a residence for city mayor Barnabas Leman.
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The B&B has been attracting visitors from across the country with bookings including places such as Bedfordshire, Bristol and East Sussex.
Mr Harvey said: "Just a little while after I had opened I would notice cars outside with either National Trust and English Heritage stickers on them.
"At first I considered this a bit of a joke and a coincidence until I pointed it out to a friend and they said 'they would do wouldn't they'.
"The penny dropped and I thought if they are a member of the English Heritage or National Trust of course they will come to a city steeped in history like Norwich.
"They are hardly going to stay at a Premier Inn as they are naturally drawn to a place like this."