ALE November 1998 No. 292

Pub News

The Fat Cat, Norwich, was the CAMRA Anglia Region's Pub of the Year and goes forward to the super-regional and national stages. The county winner was The Palmerston Arms, Peterborough, beating our 1998 Town Pub of the Year, the Free Press.

Joe Deever, a SF writer, plus business partner Brian Ash have bought the Three Hills, Bartlow (near Linton), a fifteenth century Listed property. It's the village's only pub, with a lounge bar, a 2-section restaurant and a beer garden.

J.D. Wetherspoon's latest attempt to open the first pub in Frinton was rejected in late October by Tendring District Council but JDW seem determined to keep trying. Boss Tim Martin is planning a new city centre bar concept called Wetherspoons Express, a smaller version of the current format and possibly anticipating 24-hour opening.

Owners Jane & Terry Walden have refurbished The Milkmaid Tavern, Willingham as a real ale & food pub, with a separate dining area and its own folk club.

Good-drinking, Good-chat

The West End House, Ely, has a new landlord, Enzo Teti, a well-travelled Italian. This is his first pub though he's been a regular at The West End for the last three years. Fortunately he has no plans to change the pub's increasingly rare status as a no-food, good-drinking, good-chat local. If eventually he does introduce food, it will be in a separate extension - but for now it's business as before with the same real ale line up: Pedigree, Directors, Theakson's XB, Ruddles Best and Websters.

Enzo has however also made some improvements, with a fine new patio replacing the under-achieving "garden", an upgraded gents loo and a general redecoration. A new pub sign will follow soon. Enzo's long-serving predecessor Geoff Pridmore has retired and the legendary unfriendly pub cat has gone with him.

Closed & Under-Threat Pubs Report


The new landlady of The George Inn, Girton, is Jean Green, formerly an international archer. Jean aims to get The George "back to a village pub again". Real ales include Flowers IPA, Ansell's Mild and a changing guest from the Tapster's Choice range.

Rod & Ann Vass, the long-serving tenants of The Three Tuns, Willingham, retired at the end of September. Rod's cellarmanship skills have seen the pub appear in 17 consecutive editions of the Good Beer Guide. We welcome the new tenants, Joanna Errington and Derek Griffiths.

Other pubs with new tenants include:

At the time of writing both The Cross Keys, Saxon St., Cambridge, and The John Barleycorn, Coton were being looked after by temporary licensees following the departure of previous tenants.

Other recent changes of landlord:

Support for Rural Pubs?

According to a report in The Publican (19/10/98), the Rural Development Commission's pilot scheme for freehold rural pubs has had a low response. The scheme provides up to 25% of start-up costs for conversion or upgrade for opening Post Offices or shops. Tied houses are excluded as supposedly funds are available to them through other means.

Coun. Robin Driver of South Cambs. District Council is campaigning for help for rural pubs, such as via rate relief. His local, the Ickleton Lion, is a case in point. Current Government rules allow relief for shops with rateable value of under 10,000 in settlements of less than 3,000.

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