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Norwich's new sheriff gets thumbs up from Trafford Arms' regulars in Grove Road

2011 Pub of the Year finalist, The Trafford Arms, Norwich.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

2011 Pub of the Year finalist, The Trafford Arms, Norwich. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

The Trafford Arms has many claims to fame, and the latest is that its landlord is Norwich's new sheriff.

Chris Higgins will have to find some extra time to fit in his new public duties with those he already carries out at the Grove Road pub.

But regulars are not worried that he will take his foot off the pedal one bit and are proud of his new role.

Customers are sure that he will make a good sheriff if he puts half the energy into it that he puts into his role as landlord.

Nearly every regular I met on my lunchtime visit to the pub, where I enjoyed a pint of Greene King’s best bitter, Abbot Ale, knew Chris by name and had nothing but kind words to say about him and his pub.

“It speaks volumes for what he does for the community that he has been named sheriff,” one man said.

And like the regulars at the other two pubs up for the award that I have visited – the Fat Cat in West End Street, and the Coach and Horses in Thorpe Road – the great beer is not the main reason they love their local.

One man said: “I come in here because it’s a good pub – it’s as simple as that.

“I like the atmosphere. It’s a family-oriented pub so you don’t get any cussing or swearing.

“The beer is always superb and the food in the evenings is excellent, but that’s not the main reason we keep coming back.”

Another regular likened the pub to a social club, in that it was the hub of the community and somewhere to go to meet friends and chat.

“All my friends come in here and everybody is friendly,” he said. “Every time you visit you meet somebody you know.”

The pub is a haven for real ale lovers, with a large and regularly changing selection of beers from breweries both local and from further afield.

The pub also has a proud track record of raising money over the years for charity and regulars also enjoy the annual trip to Newmarket races for the July Cup. They also hold a popular beer festival each February.

As reported, hundreds of people in the greater Norwich area nominated their favourite pubs for the award, which we launched to follow up the Evening News’ Love your Local campaign, which has been supporting pubs for more than two years. Thirty-five different establishments got the nod and the fourth finalist to be visited will be the Kings Arms in Hall Road.

The awards are being judged by Norwich pub historian Derek McDonald and the Evening News’ Love Your Local reporter David Bale. The winner of the competition will get the chance to brand its pub The Norwich Pub of the Year 2011.

To see more stories from our Love Your Local campaign, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/ loveyourlocal

What makes your local special? Let David Bale know by emailing him at david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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