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Norwich pub The Murderers raising a drink to its success at Great British Pub Awards

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 September 2015

The Murderers Pub, Timberhill, Norwich that has won a Great British Pub Award. Owner Phil Cutter Photo : Steve Adams

The Murderers Pub, Timberhill, Norwich that has won a Great British Pub Award. Owner Phil Cutter Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

A bar that has become a city centre institution is toasting success in the Great British Pub Awards 2015.

The Murderers on Timberhill.The Murderers on Timberhill.

The Murderers, on Timber Hill, has been named joint-best pub for cask beer in East Anglia and the Midlands, and will compete for the national title in London next week.

The pub, officially known as the Gardeners Arms, had been shortlisted for the regional award three years ago, and this time around judged praised it for promoting and driving the sales of cask beer.

Ed Bedington, editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, which organised the awards, said: “The judges were not only impressed with the range of cask beers at the Murderers, but also its close involvement with the local cask beer scene, ensuring they are always one step ahead in their beer offer.

“Staff members are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on all offers, despite an ever-changing menu.”

Gruesome history behind pub’s name

According to the pub’s website, the property’s history dates back to 1696.

Although officially named The Gardeners Arms, it is almost universally known as The Murderers because of the day in 1895 when Millie, daughter of the pub’s landlady Maria Wilby, was killed by her estranged husband Frank Miles.

In court, his lawyers used the defence of “extreme provocation”, and a public outcry ensured that his death sentence was commuted to life in prison, where he died in 1905.

Today, the pub’s walls are decorated with information about this, and other, notorious crimes.

The Murderers is one of the few remaining family-owned public houses in the city centre, and owner Phil Cutter has been there for 28 years, since starting as a glass boy at the age of 15.

He is co-chairman of Norwich City of Ale, and said: “This puts us out to a national audience. Things like City of Ale help to promote the city as a whole.

“Awards are great because it’s nice to be recognised for what we do, and I think City of Ale is on that national platform too.”

Asked what impressed the judges, he added: “I think they recognised that we try to extol the virtues of locally produced beer.”

As an example of the affection it is held in, an old regular who had been in Australia for 12 years recently returned for a pint, and said happily that it had not changed.

However, the pub is not taking its success for granted, and is looking at hosting a winter beer festival in 2016.

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