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The skinny bird reveals all

PUBLISHED: 15:22 14 December 2011 | UPDATED: 15:37 14 December 2011

THE WALNUT TREE SHADES. LANDLORD CHRIS GUDGIN AND HIS WIFE

THE WALNUT TREE SHADES. LANDLORD CHRIS GUDGIN AND HIS WIFE

Archant

Jude opens the book on life at the Walnut Tree Shades in Norwich - with the man known as the "grumpy old git."

The “skinny bird in the restaurant” has finally put away her pots and pans and has emerged from the kitchen to prove she can also serve up a brilliant book.

Even if you have never stepped over the threshold of the Walnut Tree Shades in the heart of Norwich the chances are you will love this wonderful, straight-forward, no-nonsense look at life in a busy boozer over a quarter of a century.

Be warned – there is plenty of colourful language and this is the inside story of life behind the bar in all its glory so, providing you are not easily offended, you will laugh your socks off.

Those of you who have been in this famous city watering hole and have been served by Chris Gudgin – the “grumpy old git behind the bar” can imagine what this book is about.

Well – it’s better than that.

Jude Gudgin tells it how it is, introducing us to life in the pub and life in Norwich – this is also a rich slice of our history highlighting so many of the characters who were both customers and entertainers. Chances are you will know many of them.

When you open this book it’s like leaning over the bar spending an hour or so chatting to Chris and Jude about what really goes in – and it makes for a highly entertaining and at times hilarious read.

Throughout their 25 years as licensees Jude kept every article written about the place. She also wrote about some of the incidents and kept them in a battered old box. On retiring in 2008 she started writing up some of the stories for their daughter Lucy – and couldn’t stop. Eventually a book emerged.

“The result is the story of our life, loves, hates, joys, sadness, exhaustion, exhilaration, fears and thrills at the Walnut Tree Shades,” said Jude.

She and Chris – a man with a sense of humour as dry as a bone – used to spend a lot of time passing each other on the stairs – today they are loving their retirement and getting to know each other all over again..

The story of their rough and tumble life at the Walnut is a rare Christmas cracker.

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