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The humble pub quiz makes a come back in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 17:02 08 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:02 08 March 2013

Popular pub quiz at the Beehive in Norwich.  Photo: Bill Smith

Popular pub quiz at the Beehive in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

If you have an idea who the top goal scorer was in 1986 football World Cup or which female UK artist has albums entitled 19 and 21, chances are you might make a popular member of your local pub quiz team.

If you have an idea who the top goalscorer was in the 1986 football World Cup or which female UK artist has albums entitled 19 and 21, chances are you might make a popular member of your local pub quiz team.

The once staple of any pub event calendar is seeing a resurgence and bringing a welcome boost in custom to the beleaguered industry.

It is well reported that pubs and bars are suffering as a result of, among other things, tight finances, cheap supermarket alcohol and changes to the way people socialise which means time is being permanently called in for some locals.

These days landlords are constantly looking for ways to lure in customers and it seems the humble pub quiz is now growing in popularity.

Alexandra Kerridge, landlady of The Beehive, in Leopold Road, Norwich, runs a quiz each Wednesday night.

“I took over this pub five years ago in April and the quiz was already running then. I continued to do it and it has just got busier and busier.”

An average of 15 teams compete each week, with each having between one and five members.

“We don’t charge to enter and there are no cash prizes. The winning team usually get a free drink each. People come for the whole package; the social aspect of meeting friends for a drink, the ambience of the pub and also for the quiz which is great fun.

“I have a customer who is also a friend who comes up with the questions for me and then another customer and friend who reads them out.

“Many people have come for years and years but we are also getting new people all the time.

“I think pubs need to run events like this because they lose that sense of community and bringing people together to enjoy themselves.”

James Linder, landlord of the Garden House in Pembroke Road, Norwich agrees, believing pubs need to be constantly reinventing themselves to keep people coming back.

“Our pub quiz has been running for about seven or eight years but about two years ago we noticed that it had dropped off a little so we changed the format and have seen an impressive turnaround with about 60 people a week playing now,” he said.

“People got fed up of the same team winning week after week so what we do now is charge £1 to play and have the top three prizes pub related, so it could be money off food. Every team which plays is then entered into a raffle and the winner plays for the money. They get one question and if they get it wrong the pot is rolled over to the next week. This means that even if you come last you still have a shot at winning the money.”

Mr Linder runs his quiz each Monday on what is traditionally a quieter night for pubs.

“We get a mixture of people in. We have a hefty student population in this area and we also see what we call professional quiz players who travel around to different pubs to take part as well as our locals,” he added.

Charity quiz nights are also regularly held and a most recent one, as part of a world record attempt to hold the world’s largest pub quiz, raised £400.

Mr Linder said: “We also had Stephen Fry involved in one of our quizzes. He was appearing on the One Show on the BBC and he linked up with a team here and helped with the answers. His team won.”

The Garden House quiz also utilises a big screen and projector to enable observation rounds.

“We are fortunate in that we are surviving but it is a struggle at the moment and we are constantly reinventing ourselves.”

The next charity quiz at the Garden House is on March 28 from 7.30pm and is in aid of Children with Cancer.

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal

Do you have a story about a local pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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