Famous Norwich city centre pub set for revamp

A historic city pub has closed but it will be reopening later in the summer after having undergone a major refurbishment.

The Edith Cavell pub in Norwich's Tombland has closed its doors and has had its windows whitened out in preparation for a programme of improvements that will take place over the coming weeks.

The pub's owners Enterprise Inns remain tight-lipped about the revamp, although a spokesman did confirm that the 'major refurbishment' will not be 'complete until mid-late August'.

The news that the pub's recent closure is only temporary will come as a relief to regulars and pub goers in Norwich who acknowledge the importance of one of the city's oldest watering holes which bears the name of the Norfolk's famous war heroine.

The Swardeston-born nurse was shot by a firing squad in 1915 for helping British and Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. She is buried in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral and a statue of her stands on Tombland near the pub.

Derek McDonald, Norwich pub historian, said he hoped the revamp, which fits in with the Evening News's Love Your Local campaign, would bring back the good times to the pub.

He said: 'It's historic to the city, especially with her being buried across the road in the cathedral grounds. I hope it does thrive; it should be given a chance.'

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The Edith Cavell had previously been called the Army and Navy Stores from 1879 before taking on the name Edith Cavell in 1981.

The pub has closed for a short period a number of times over the past couple of years with the most recent closure coming in November last year. It re-opened just before Christmas last year.

The pub also previously closed in December 2007, at which time it was known as Coles, but reopened at the end of April 2008 when its name was changed back to the Edith Cavell.

Sue Coleman, a member of the Norfolk and Norwich Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA) and landady of the Stanley pub on Magdalen Road, Norwich, said she hoped the revamp would work for the pub.

She said: 'It used to be a wonderfully busy pub. I grew up in Norwich and it was a pub I used to drink at.

'People used to be standing out on the street when it was the only pub in the area.

'It's been such a shame to drive past and see it closed.'

To see previous stories from the Love Your Local campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal. Have you got a pub story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk