Great Glemham: The Crown pub reopens after two years - thanks to a little help from the East Anglian Daily Times

The Crown's new owners Thane Meldrum and Emma Harrington.

The Crown's new owners Thane Meldrum and Emma Harrington. - Credit: Archant

It has taken two years of hard work and negotiation but villagers finally had the chance to toast the re-opening of their beloved pub yesterday - thanks to a little help from the East Anglian Daily Times.

The Crown in Great Glemham, near Framlingham, had been shut since 2011 - with developers threatening to turn it into holiday cottages.

The situation prompted concerned villager Bill Philpot to contact the EADT in a bid to highlight its plight and find a buyer for the historic property.

Just days later he received a telephone call from self employed antiques restorer Thane Meldrum, of St Michael South Elmham, just north of Halesworth.

The long standing member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) said he and his partner, Emma Harrington, were keen to try and safeguard The Crown’s future.

The couple subsequently entered into negotiations with developers and eventually bought the pub - much to the delight of all concerned.

The watering hole officially reopened yesterday and villagers were out in force to raise a glass to its success.

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Ms Harrington said: “Neither of us have run a pub before so it’s going to be a challenge but we’re looking forward to it. We’ve redecorated and tried to make it more traditional inside. When we moved in it was completely stripped out.

“Originally we didn’t intend to run the pub ourselves but we’ve had a change of mind. We both really love the building.

“We’d been in here years ago and we happened to be driving through when we thought we’d just stop in for a drink and a sandwich. However by then it had closed.

“A few days later we saw the article in the paper and we thought we would try to rescue it.

“A pub is so vital to the village. It’s a lovely community and people have already been very supportive.”

Mr Philpot said he was confident the new landlords would be a success.

“It’s a great day,” he said. “There’s been a major diaspora of thirsty people but I’m confident Thane and Emma will bring them back. They seem to be going about things the right way. It’s a beautiful pub and the new interior is just breathtaking.

“If The Crown had been lost it would have been a disaster for the village. However fortunately - as a direct result of the article in the EADT - Thane got in touch and it has been saved.”

The pub is promising real ales and traditional fare, with its initial opening hours from 11.30am-3pm and 6pm-11pm (10.30pm on Sunday). However, it is hoped these will eventually be extended into the afternoon.

Snacks, sandwiches and ploughman’s lunches will be served during the day, while meals will also be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. On Tuesday Rumburgh Morris will be dancing from 7.45pm.