Framlingham: Pub landlords astounded by town’s support

The Railway public house in Framlingham has been completely refurbished and is ready for business.

The Railway public house in Framlingham has been completely refurbished and is ready for business. L-R Ruth and David Freemantle, Chef Aaron Minks, Georgia Freemantle and Lucas Kendall. - Credit: Archant

Family landlords at a newly reopened pub say they have been astounded by the local community’s welcoming response.

The Railway only reopened in Framlingham last Monday but already the new tenants say it has exceeded their wildest expectations.

“Opening a pub in these times can be quite a scary venture but it’s had a tremendous response from the town,” said new landlord David Freemantle.

“We thought it would take about a year to create the nice community atmosphere we were aiming for but it has happened in the first week – it’s been mad. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us – it’s been amazing, it really has.”

The Railway, on Station Road, might have been lost to residential use when it went up for sale earlier this year, but has been able to retain its use after one of Mr Freemantle’s friends expressed an interest in buying a pub to lease.

Having moved to Framlingham seeking a relaxed pace of life away from his job as a film editor in London, Mr Freemantle saw the pub as an opportunity to spend more time with his family and end the daily commute to the capital.

“I went for a drink with my friend to discuss the possibility, after the first pint I said maybe and then after the second I said I’d give it a go and it’s just gone from there,” he said.

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The former Masterchef contestant hopes to offer his customers a high standard of locally sourced traditional pub fare, while also providing a venue for regulars to enjoy a drink or two with friends.

“We want it to be the sort of pub which makes you feel welcome whether you’re popping in for a pint or having a full sit down mean,” he said. The family has spent the past three months refurbishing the pub in a “quirky yet welcoming” style, which Mr Freemantle says has received lots of appreciative comments from the customers who have visited so far.

He also says the reputation has spread by word of mouth sufficiently far and wide to receive visitors from Southwold and Aldeburgh based on recommendations.

There are also plans to begin hosting regular entertainment events, with a musical evening tentatively planned for later this month.

The pub is run by Mr Freemantle his wife Ruth and their two children Georgia, 18, and Jack 14. Georgia’s 21-year-old boyfriend Lucas Kendal is also working behind the bar.