Pleas for post office or pub to be instated at former boozer

The Bell in Salhouse 

The Bell in Salhouse - Credit: Google Maps

A post office is among the options being suggested for a 17th century pub as campaigners rally to breathe new life into the building.

Folk living in Salhouse are looking to turn The Bell pub into an active community hub after the watering hole was put up for sale last year.

Villager Graham Johnston, 43, is leading a bid for the pub to be community-owned and is holding his first public meeting at Salhouse Primary School at 6pm on Wednesday. 

A survey gathering thoughts on what people would like the pub to become has shown an interest in a post office being based at the boozer.

Mr Johnston said the nearest post office is a five minute drive away in Rackheath.

And now people living in Salhouse have expressed a desire for a similar facility within walking distance.

The University Plain Post office in Norwich is set to close for one month to allow for a major store

There are calls for a post office in Salhouse - Credit: Archant

This would be handy for collecting parcels, he added.

Mr Johnston said: "It would be one of the services we could run without the overhead costs." 

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More than 100 people have responded to the survey with the ages of respondents ranging from 21 to 97. 

Mr Johnston said: "The vast majority want a pub and for it to be more than just a traditional pub with post office facilities.

"There is a real enthusiasm for a community hub." 

Graham Johnson, who is leading the campaign to turn The Bell Inn into a community-owned pub in Salhouse 

Graham Johnson, who is leading the campaign to turn The Bell Inn into a community-owned pub in Salhouse - Credit: Graham Johnson

A total of 93pc responding to the survey said good food was important, 73pc want a family-friendly atmosphere and 33 people are prepared to buy a share in the pub.

More than a third of those surveyed would visit the pub at least once a week and 25pc would visit two to three times a week.

After the public meeting on Wednesday, a steering group will be set up for the pub as well as a business plan to gauge what the costs will be to bring the pub up to the required speed.

A spokeswoman for the Plunkett Foundation said: "There are 150 successfully run community-owned pubs across the UK, and their survival rate is extremely high at more than 99pc. 

"Part of their success is due to the hard work of their volunteers but also their ability to offer what their community really needs."