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‘One girl scrubbed the loos’: Regulars muck in to reopen pub

PUBLISHED: 08:11 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:51 16 December 2019

Staff and volunteers are helping to refurbish The Norkie in Bowthorpe ahead of its reopening. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Staff and volunteers are helping to refurbish The Norkie in Bowthorpe ahead of its reopening. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

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A group of neighbours desperate to see their local pub reopen have grabbed paint brushes and scourers to help its new landlord prepare for the relaunch.

Terry Mcfadyen is one of the volunteers helping refurbish The Norkie in Bowthorpe. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Terry Mcfadyen is one of the volunteers helping refurbish The Norkie in Bowthorpe. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

The Norkie pub in Bowthorpe closed last month, leaving its regulars mourning their favourite watering hole.

But they received some good news last week, when it was revealed a new landlord had been found for the Wendene venue, and was due to reopen within seven days of moving in.

Nick Brett is the muscle behind the relaunch, and will run the pub on behalf of his father-in-law, who also owns the Maltsters in Ranworth and the Cromer Kings Head.

According to the 45-year-old, originally from Essex, it quickly became apparent that opening the closed venue within seven days would be too big a task for one man alone.

A sign appeals for volunteers to help The Norkie in Bowthorpe. Picture: Lauren De Boise.A sign appeals for volunteers to help The Norkie in Bowthorpe. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

But determined to meet the deadline, the new manager decided to recruit some extra hands.

He said: "I'm a bit cheeky. I put a couple of blackboards outside the pub saying if you can spare an hour and hold a paint brush then come on in. I didn't expect anyone to actually turn up. We've had loads of people helping out. One lovely woman has been bringing us biscuits, another young girl scrubbed the loos. I've never been to Norwich but if the people are like the ones coming through the door then it's a truly lovely place."

One volunteer, Terry Mcfadyen, was an old regular when the pub was under previous management, and has been helping out every day since Mr Brett moved in.

The manager said he had done such a great job getting the venue ready that he had been offered a paid position.

Inside The Norkie in Bowthorpe which is being reopened under new management. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Inside The Norkie in Bowthorpe which is being reopened under new management. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Although issues with the boiler have delayed the planned Monday opening, Mr Brett said he was optimistic the team would be ready for trade by Wednesday, and was excited to welcome new and old faces to the bar.

He added: "It's got a real buzz to it. Everyone that's coming past says they're going to give us a go, so we can't wait to get people through the door."


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