Norwich pub closes - after running out of beer

David BaleOne of Norwich city centre's best know pubs has shut down - and the leaseholder said today he could not reopen it because he had run out of beer.David Bale

One of Norwich city centre's best know pubs has shut down - and the leaseholder said today he could not reopen it because he had run out of beer.

The Walnut Tree Shades in Post Office Court, off Gentleman's Walk, is a one-off in the city.

Crammed full of rock music memorabilia with pictures of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the late James Brown on the walls, it was run for 24 years by popular landlord Chris Gudgin.

The pub is owned by Enterprise Inns, which was unavailable for comment, but leaseholder Ronald Ashby, who has been at the pub since 2008, said he closed last week because of a dispute with the pub company.

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He said: 'I had a verbal agreement with them that I would pay the rent weekly, but then I had to pay a month in advance, which I could not afford. They then stopped sending me beer, so it got to the point that I had to close. I don't know what's happening now, but I'm going to my solicitor to see how I stand legally.

'But I heard on the grapevine that Enterprise Inns wanted to sell the pub.'

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Regulars at the watering hole said today they hoped it would reopen soon.

David Dennis said: 'It closed without notice and it's left me fearing the worst for this fine drinking establishment.

'I heard a rumour it was due to close imminently so it doesn't look good.

'This was a particular favourite inner city pub of mine with great character, good beer (Buffy's), friendly service and live music nights. It would be a real shame if it has become merely another statistic in the long list of public houses which have closed.'

Another punter John Stafford added: 'A lot of people used to go in there, because it was a proper boozer and it had such a fabulous menu.'

Until recently the pub was run by Chris Gudgin, who called it quits two years ago after more than 30 years in the business, and 24 years at the Walnut Tree Shades.

The Evening News' Love Your Local Campaign has now entered its second year and aims to get people back into pubs.

For more stories on the campaign visit

Have you got a pub story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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