Historic Norwich pub reopens

Peter WalshA historic city pub, which closed suddenly last month, has reopened with a new manager who hopes to bring back the good times to the popular venue.Peter Walsh

A historic city pub, which closed suddenly last month, has reopened with a new manager who hopes to bring back the good times to the popular venue.

As reported last month, the Edith Cavell shut with a sign in the window stating the pub had closed temporarily and all stock, machines and valuables had been removed.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, said it was their intention to 'reopen the pub as soon as possible' and, on Good Friday, it started trading again with manager LynseyDrewitt opening the doors on the latest chapter in the watering hole's history.

Miss Drewitt, who has experience running the Ironmongers and Steam Packet pubs in Norwich, said she was looking forward to making a go of the venture.

She said: 'I'm really excited; there's a lovely atmosphere here. All the previous pubs I've had in the past have been traditional drinking holes of Norwich, so I come from a traditional pub background where the theme has been beer.

'I think in Norwich the traditional drinkers have been left out because so many good old fashioned pubs have changed to alternative wine bars, but we will be traditional.'

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Miss Drewitt said the pub already has two real ales available at the pumps and is hoping to increase the choice of beers to five in the coming weeks. The pub also has a lounge upstairs which Miss Drewitt said she hopes to be able to use as a room that can be hired by the public for parties and gatherings.

The 36-year-old, who has more than 15 years experience running pubs, and who was working at the Falcon in Cromer Road, Hellesdon, until moving to the Edith Cavell, said she hoped the people she had met through her time in the industry would support her now.

She said: 'While I was cleaning up the pub I bumped into so many people and they were all very excited, and said it was good to see me back in the city centre.

'Friday night was very busy and we were busy on Saturday and Sunday.'

Miss Drewitt admitted it would take a while, but said she had her 'fingers crossed' that the pub could return to happier and more successful times.

The Edith Cavell is one of the oldest pubs in Norwich, which had previously been called the Army and Navy Stores from 1879 before taking on the name of our famous war heroine in 1981.

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.

The pub 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.

The Evening News is backing local pubs through its Love Your Local campaign. For more information, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on campaigns.

Do you know a city pub which is about to reopen? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk