Swanton Abbott pub re-opens

A village pub which has been closed for a year has re-opened its doors and the new landlords say their aim is to make it a community pub once again.

Husband and wife Les and Pat Christman, 56, have taken over the freehold of the Jolly Farmers at Swanton Abbott.

The couple, who have been in the pub trade for 10 years, purchased the pub on March 1 and re-opened it on March 25.

Mr Christman, 57, said: 'The pub had been closed over a bad winter so there was a few burst pipes and the electric had to be certified, there was also just general cleaning up to do.'

The kitchen and restaurant are to be refurbished in the near future, until that is complete the pub is not serving any food, but the opening night was a roaring success.

Mr Christman said: 'We had a good opening night there were a lot of people from the village and we got a very good response from them. I think a lot of people in the village thought when the pub closed that might be it, it might go altogether.'

The couple, who received a bouquet of flowers from the local parish council when they took over the pub, have run community pubs before, including the Fox and Hounds in Great Moulton and the White Horse Inn in Kenninghall, both of which they rented.

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Mr Christman said: 'We want to bring the Jolly Farmers back to being a base for community activities.'

To that end the couple are also looking to reinstate the pub's darts and pool teams and on the day of the Royal wedding, Friday, April 29, they will be hosting a Royal garden party event all day at the pub.