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Pub offers free carveries for over-60s and veterans to give back to community

PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:38 23 October 2020

Landlords of the Belstead Arms in Ipswich, Mandy and Steve Byford, are organising free carvery lunches for over-60s and veterans  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Landlords of the Belstead Arms in Ipswich, Mandy and Steve Byford, are organising free carvery lunches for over-60s and veterans Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Popular Ipswich pub the Belstead Arms is giving back to the community with free carvery events for over-60s and veterans.

Landlords of the newly refurbished Belstead Arms, Mandy and Steve Byford.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLandlords of the newly refurbished Belstead Arms, Mandy and Steve Byford. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mandy and Steve Byford, who took on the Belstead Arms just weeks before coronavirus lockdown in March, say their over-60s event for this Sunday, October 25, is already fully booked.

Now they are also planning to offer free meals to veterans on Remembrance Sunday, November 8.

Calls poured in after they announced the over-60s event via the pub’s Facebook page. Mrs Byford said: “We want to give older ones a little bit of confidence about going out. It’s nice to give them an opportunity to come out and see that it’s all Covid-safe.

“A couple of weeks ago, we had a table of six, and some of them said they hadn’t been out since January. They really enjoyed themselves and came back last week.”

Landlady Mandy Byford at the Belstead Arms in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLandlady Mandy Byford at the Belstead Arms in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The landlady said they also wanted to express their thanks to veterans through the Remembrance event, and hoped to arrange more community events in the future.

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The couple took over the tenancy of the pub in Radcliffe Drive in January, only to have to close down a few weeks later, when lockdown started.

They took the opportunity to carry out refurbishments during the closure, including redecorating and replacing upholstery.

The Belstead Arms in Ipswich has been refurbished Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Belstead Arms in Ipswich has been refurbished Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Although times are currently tough for all pubs, Mrs Byford said “It’s not going too badly. We opened up again in July and fortunately we had some lovely weather in the summer, so people were able to sit outside.”

She paid tribute to customers for giving them a warm welcome, saying: “They really are great.”

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The pub held a few musical events in the beer garden over the summer, keeping these to the afternoons to avoid disturbing the pub’s neighbours in the evenings.

However, looking forward to the winter, she said they would not be able to have the same numbers inside because of social distancing.

The Belstead Arms serves food from 12 to 8pm on Tuesday to Saturday and 12 to 3pm on Sunday. Sunday lunches must be booked in advance and there is no food on Mondays. Opening hours are from 11am to 11pm daily Monday to Friday and 11am to late at weekends.

For more details about the pub and carvery events, follow @TheBelsteadArms on Facebook.


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