Thorpe St Andrew pub closes after landlord calls time

A Thorpe St Andrew pub has closed following the resignation of its landlord, eight years after he took over the reins from his father, who died in a tragic accident.

Matthew Harris, 38, took over the running of the Griffin pub on Yarmouth Road after his dad John was killed when he was pinned between a coach and an HGV trailer in the car park of the pub in July 2003.

The coach belonged to Mr Harris, 58, who also ran a business called Griffin Travel from the site.

Matthew, a father-of-three, ran the Enterprise Inns-owned pub with his sister Nicola and in 2005 applied for a 24-hour licence to give him the scope to open the premises later on occasions.

But the pub closed last Wednesday after Matthew agreed to quit the business by 'mutual agreement' with Enterprise.

He said: 'It was a very difficult decision. I've been in pubs all my life. I've got too many memories at the pub and it feels the right time to move on. It's just over eight-and-a-bit years since my dad died. I've been here eight years on my own doing it. Unfortunately, it's just time to move on.' Matthew said he will now take a break, but has not ruled out the possibility of returning to a pub in either Thorpe or Norwich in the future.

He said: 'I'm going to take some time out and spend it with my kids and family because I haven't done a lot of that lately. I'm looking at another pub in the area.'

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A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said it was 'only a temporary closure' and they were endeavouring to get The Griffin open as soon as possible having already identified a new publican.

The Evening News has urged people to support local pubs through the Love Your Local campaign.

Have you got a story for the campaign? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436.

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