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Historic Norwich inn to get its old name back

Landlord and landlady of Henrys Cafe Bar @ The Lamb, Clive Hitchens and his wife Michelle Gianadda.

Landlord and landlady of Henrys Cafe Bar @ The Lamb, Clive Hitchens and his wife Michelle Gianadda.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

One of Norwich's historic pubs is reverting to its old name - much to the delight of beer lovers and historians in the city.

There was an outcry when brewer Scottish and Newcastle changed the name of the Lamb Inn to the Rat and Parrot 15 years ago, after the Haymarket pub had been known for hundreds of years as the Lamb Inn.

Since then it has become part of the Henry’s Café Bar chain and been known as Henry’s and now Henry’s Cafe Bar@The Lamb Inn.

But the current landlords are reverting to the old name of the Lamb Inn later this year.

South Africans Michelle Gianadda, 32, and husband Clive Hitchens, 38, who took over as landlords about six months ago, said most people still referred to the pub by its old name, so they were changing it back.

Mr Hitchens said: “Even the taxi drivers still refer to the pub as the Lamb Inn and don’t seem to know it as Henry’s. Most of the customers have been coming here for years and still know it as the Lamb Inn.

“We are having a total refurbishment in September and almost gutting it. As well as the new name, we will also have a food and menu change. It will be going back more to its traditional roots. We will also put up pictures of the old Lamb on the wall.”

The proposals have gone down well with community champions including Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum. He said: “Anyone in the city who has been here a while will remember it as the Lamb.

“It was a sad day when Scottish and Newcastle changed its name to the Rat and Parrot, which was a horrible name. I congratulate the new landlords on what they are planning to do.”

Mike Spivey, pub preservation officer for the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, added: “I think there will be a lot of people pleased to hear that. It is one of the last coaching inns in the city centre.”

The pub dates back to the 13th century when it was known as the Holy Lamb.

The Evening News has been urging punters to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign. See more stories from the campaign at www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Are you trying to bring back part of Norwich’s history? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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