New Year’s Eve will be end of an era for doomed Norwich pub

Regulars at a doomed community pub which is set to close early next year to make way for housing are being urged to give it a send-off to remember.

The final death knell for the Canary pub came at a meeting of Norwich City Council's planning committee in October when councillors reluctantly agreed it should make way for affordable homes.

The pub, in Watling Road, Heartsease, had been spared the axe at a previous meeting following a community campaign to save it, but after developers Dove Jeffrey Homes revised their plans and made clear it would make way for affordable homes, councillors gave it the nod.

The pub is due to close in early January but Michael Duffield, who has been landlord for about seven months, said realistically New Year's Eve would be its final fling.

He said: 'I think Old Year's Night will be the last night that people will be able to come in and see the old girl go. A lot of people have turned round and said what are we doing and I have told them we will go out with a bang and see the New Year in.'

But Mr Duffield, 59, who has previously run the Woodside pub in Thorpe St Andrew, which has now been demolished, said many regulars have not felt much like partying in recent weeks.

He said: 'Everyone is gutted but there's nothing we can do about it. I feel sorry for the older ones. They've been coming in here for years and its just taken away from them.'

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A spokesman for Dove Jeffrey Homes told October's planning meeting if it had been viable, it would have remained a pub.

Enterprise Inns, in the letter it sent to the council, said: 'From a commercial perspective it is unlikely that Enterprise Inns will be able to continue supporting the business beyond the end of our current financial year (September 2010) and certainly not beyond the end of the calendar year.'

The Evening News has been highlighting the need to save our pubs through our Love Your Local campaign. If you have a pub story call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email