Calls for pub to revert to original name as tenants moved on

Stonegate has taken on the Chestnut Tree pub in Hellesdon. Pictured inset is county councillor Shelagh Gurney 

Stonegate has taken on the Chestnut Tree pub in Hellesdon. Pictured inset is county councillor Shelagh Gurney - Credit: Technical Signs/Norfolk County Council

The landlord of a city boozer has had to hand the keys to the establishment back - prompting renewed calls for the business to revert to its historic name. 

The Chestnut Tree in Hellesdon - formerly called The Bull - has been fully taken over by the Stonegate Group. 

The chain owns the building.

Former tenant Gemma Burwood was told in April that her four years at the Reepham Road watering hole were coming to an end.

The proposed changes to the signs at the Chestnut Tree

The proposed changes to the signs at the Chestnut Tree - Credit: Technical Signs

She is currently clearing out her possessions from the Hellesdon venue and is now concentrating on her venture at The Blue Boar in Oulton, Lowestoft

Some of the staff from Hellesdon have joined her at The Blue Boar which reopened in December. 

A statement from the former Chestnut Tree tenant said: "Stonegate has decided that after all our investment and success that they want to run the business themselves and have chosen to end our agreement early. 

"This would most definitely not be something we chose to do. We have absolutely loved transforming the pub and being part of Hellesdon." 

Gemma Burwood at the Blue Boar in Oulton, near Lowestoft

Director Gemma Burwood at the Blue Boar in Oulton, near Lowestoft - Credit: Mick Howes

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Stonegate was approached for comment.

The business has submitted a planning application for the Hellesdon pub seeking to change the signs at the site.

They have proposed a traditional pub swing sign with the Chestnut Tree logo on it as well as changes to the logos on the side of the building. 

But Conservative county councillor Shelagh Gurney, who represents Hellesdon, said she would have liked the pub to revert to its original name The Bull under Stonegate. 

She previously mounted a campaign to save the name of The Bull after the pub closed for more than 18 months from February 2017 before reopening as The Chestnut Tree in November 2018.

Shelagh Gurney

Shelagh Gurney, county councillor for Hellesdon - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Mrs Gurney said: "Whenever anyone talks about that area it is The Bull roundabout, The Bull shops and the pub is still known by that name.

"The change would have been a good opportunity to have some sort of local opinion on whether a new name was appropriate for the community." 

The Bull was a reflection of cattle being driven along Middleton's Lane towards the market in the city centre.

The Bull at Hellesdon, which is now The Chestnut Tree. Picture: Archant

The Bull at Hellesdon, which is now The Chestnut Tree. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant