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Today's Norwich Pub of the Week spotlights the Coach and Horses in Union Street, a pub where everyone is welcome.

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 September 2011

Coach & Horses pub in Union Street, Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Coach & Horses pub in Union Street, Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

If you are looking for the definition of a community pub, then look no further than the Coach and Horses in Union Street, just west of the city centre.

This pub feels more like a community centre than your average boozer and seems to be the place to go to if you need a friend or just want someone to talk to.

The sign above the bar says ‘Be nice or leave’ and if you manage that, then everyone is welcome.

Joint landladies Sharon Hovell and Wendy Julian took over three years ago yesterday , so it’s a good time to be celebrating what they do.

Both landladies had experience of working with people in the community before they took on the pub, and the pub really seems to be the hub of the local area.

Elderly and vulnerable customers are looked after by staff who search for them if they don’t show up.

Sharon said: “The message here is ‘Be nice or leave’. Apart from that, we welcome everyone here. We do get a very diverse range of customers, as you can see if you look around.

“I like being a landlady because every day is different.

“I like people. I don’t think you can be a half decent landlord if you don’t like people.

“You are never going to get rich doing this, as it’s more of a vocation. Alcohol is in my blood.

“We’re here for the community. We’ve got door keys for some of our regulars, so we check up on them.

“When it was snowing last Christmas we knew that two of our customers would not be able to get out, and therefore would not eat, so we went around to collect them. I’m often going around to people’s houses to help them change a lightbulb or even to do up their shoelaces.”

The pub is also slightly different in a city renowned for its love of real ales, as it has seven lagers on tap, which are very popular.

And the pub has just four car parking spaces, as Sharon said that, being a city centre pub, that’s all they needed, and she also does not want any drink-drivers.

The pub is also famed for its charity fundraising efforts and summer flower displays.

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

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

Does your local deserve to be our Pub of the Week? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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