ALE Winter 2000 No. 300

Pub News

Around the villages

Nigel and Debra Mott took over as licensees of the Three Tuns, Willingham, in September. They had previously leased a pub in Great Yarmouth for a couple of years, building it up from nothing - and introducing real ale. However, Yarmouth is a funny old place and Nigel, who had been brought up in Ely, was keen to move to this area. When the Three Tuns became available, it was an opportunity not to be missed. The pub has already been smartened up; the new furniture in the lounge is a particular improvement. On the beer front, Greene King XX Mild, IPA and Abbot plus a guest beer (Ruddles County on a recent visit) are on offer, the last two direct from the cask. The rich and delicious XX Mild is an especially welcome sight for the real ale connoisseur. By the time you read this, food will have been introduced, but Nigel is adamant that the Three Tuns will be a pub first and foremost, with the grub in a strictly supporting role. The Three Tuns has been in the Good Beer Guide for over 20 years, and has clearly fallen into good hands.

The Black Horse, Littleport, reopened a few months ago with two real ales. A new tenant is wanted for the Plough & Fleece, Horningsea. Rumours that TV chef Jamie Oliver was going to get involved in the Tickell Arms (Whittlesford) have not panned out - apparently he couldn't get permission for certain changes.

In Ely, the Life Music Bar, operated by the Cambridge Pub Company in the Cloisters shopping centre, got its licence upon appeal to Cambridge Crown Court. It plans premium prices - around 2.30.

Over Overview

For the committed real ale drinker, the Admiral Vernon in the High Street is the place to go in Over. The Charles Wells Eagle is joined by two changing guests beers: City of Cambridge Bramling Traditional was an especially welcome recent visitor. Until recently the pub had a fake handpump, ruling it out of contention for the Good Beer Guide. The Exhibition has acquired new licensees, but following the "ain't-broke-don't fix-it" principle, it's very much business as usual, with food continuing to be very important (and popular). Real ales are Greene King IPA, Tetley Bitter and Marstons Pedigree. The Poplar Farm caters mainly for a more youthful crowd and has Fullers London Pride and GK IPA on the pumps. Well worth a visit is the Community Centre in The Doles; this has a full on-licence so anyone can drop in for a drink. The Draught Bass is currently accompanied by the excellent Black Sheep Bitter from Yorkshire. Between 6.00 and 7.30 p.m. both can be had for just 1.40 a pint.

Nearly lost

The White Horse, West Wickham, has been saved for now. Greene King appealed against the refusal by South Cambs. Council of change-of-use to private house. Our Regional Director, Paul Ainsworth, was one of the objecters and the planning inspector dismissed the appeal. For the first time, CAMRA's new Public House Viability Test helped swing the issue. (CAMRA Calls "Time" on Pub Closures press release.)

The Golden Miller, Longstowe, had an application for change-of-use refused by South Cambs. and is currently closed.

Villagers are forming a group to buy the Boot, Dullingham: GK have withdrawn an application for change-of-use and will put it on the market as going concern - rumoured at 185,000. [Follow-up]

All information is believed correct at time of going to press. If our spies have got anything wrong, please contact the editor, who will be happy to print a correction.

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