Locals rally to try to save Norwich pub

Sam EmanuelFamilies who say their threatened local pub is at the heart of the community have turned out in force to support the landlady's campaign to save it.Sam Emanuel

Families who say their threatened local pub is at the heart of the community have turned out in force to support the landlady's campaign to save it.

Yesterday's event at The Canary pub, in Heartsease, Norwich, which included bouncy castles, a barbecue and performances by local bands, was enjoyed by dozens of families who were all keen to ensure the building, which has served the estate for decades, is not bulldozed by developers to make way for new homes.

Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, has said that they occasionally identify pubs that they feel no longer have 'a long-term future' in their pubs estate 'with a view to disposing of them'.

Lindsay Maher, the pub's landlady, who took it over at the beginning of January this year, said: 'We wanted to bring the community together today in case we lose this pub, and give them all something to remember.

'We have got a petition, which has already been signed by 400 regulars, and hopefully that will have an impact.'

Visitors to The Canary were keen to have their say about why they thought the pub should be saved.

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Sam Blossom, 32, a full-time mother, who lives on the estate, in Deloney Road, said: 'It used to have a bad reputation, but Lindsay has turned it around and made it into a family pub. It's a lovely pub - it would be a real, real shame to see it gone. I really don't know what people would do.'

Her 10-year-old son Harry Blossom, and his 45-year-old uncle Andy Blossom, who was a regular at the pub before moving to Florida 20 years ago, were equally keen to see it saved.

Harry, who is a pupil at Heartsease Primary School, said: 'It's a nice place for kids to come with their families and they have even organised bouncy castles and things for us today to make sure we have things to do.'

Paul Girling, 35, who lives in Munnings Road, said: 'I've been coming here for about 20 years every Friday night and it's all I know.

'If it was gone, I would be lost and I wouldn't know what to do with myself. People come here to have a drink and a laugh.'

Anthony Betts, 44, who lives in Thorpe St Andrew, is one of the many people who visit the pub because of his family connections with the estate.

He said: 'It's disgusting how they keep knocking pubs down and damaging communities. There is nowhere else for people here to socialise.'

As previously reported, plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council by Essex-based Dove Jeffery Homes to build 10 three bedroom houses, 10 two bed houses, and five two bedroom apartments with car parking. People have until Monday, June 7 to make representations.

The Evening News has urged people to support their local pub through its Love Your Local campaign, which can be seen at www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Have you helped breathe new life into a city pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772429 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.