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Norfolk pub regular buys his local

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:25 02 July 2010

The Tibenham Greyhound has new landlords. Pub regulars Rob Smith and Fawnda Mathison have taken over the running of the pub.

The Tibenham Greyhound has new landlords. Pub regulars Rob Smith and Fawnda Mathison have taken over the running of the pub.

David Bale

A Norfolk man has swapped propping up the bar at his local to serving behind it.

Rob Smith, 40, was a loyal customer at the Greyhound in Tibenham, near Long Stratton, for 21 years, so when the chance came to buy it, he took it.

A Norfolk man has swapped propping up the bar at his local to serving behind it.

Rob Smith, 40, was a loyal customer at the Greyhound in Tibenham, near Long Stratton, for 21 years, so when the chance came to buy it, he took it.

The former commercial waste contracts manager is now serving drinks to the same friends he used to share a pint with on the other side of the bar. He is being helped in his new job by partner Fawnda Mathison, 40, and his sister Carol Smith, 50.

He said: "I bought it as much for the community as myself. I have been an integral part of the pub as a customer for more than 20 years. I have been involved in the clay pigeon shoot at the pub for 10 years and have always had a fair input into the pub over the years. I always loved the incredibly friendly atmosphere at the pub and I want to keep that. I have not had much of a chance to get behind the bar yet, as Fawnda and Carol are always there, so I don't know yet how different it is to be on the other side of the bar."

The pub was sold by previous landlords David and Coleen Hughes who had run The Greyhound for more than seven years. They have retired from the pub trade and are now living in Wiltshire.

The sale was handled by Diss-based Britannia Business Sales and The Greyhound was sold off an asking price of £395,000.

Mr Smith, who lived in nearby Aslacton for 16 years before moving into the pub, added: "We intend to expand the food side of the business and are completely revamping the children's play area in readiness for the summer. The pub will also provide an external barbeque and host regular theme nights."

The pub, in The Street, dates back to 1731 and was a mainstay of the US Air Force during the second world war. Hollywood legend James Stewart was based at Tibenham and the pub has memorabilia connected to him from that time.

The Evening News has, through our Love Your Local campaign, been highlighting the need for people to support their local pubs or risk them closing for good.

Ü To see previous stories from our campaign log on to www. eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Ü Do you know of a pub that is opening or closing in Norwich? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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