'Never seen anything like it' - community pulls together to revamp pub
- Credit: Chris Mapey
A community pub under a new landlord and landlady has been revamped in just over a week thanks to an "amazing" team effort.
Woodbridge-based Chris and Sarah Mapey, who also run The Angel in Woodbridge and The Duke in Ipswich, have taken on the lease of the Elmswell Tavern, formerly the Railway Tavern.
Elmswell Parish Council bought the site last year with aspirations to renovate and extend the pub and also build affordable homes for village people.
Mr and Mrs Mapey are on board to run the pub for the foreseeable future, with plans to revitalise the Tavern with live music, quality ale and a focus on darts and pool teams.
Mr Mapey said in 10 days the inside was redecorated and the outside was revamped with the help of local volunteers, ready in time for a relaunch event on Friday, July 30.
You may also want to watch:
"It's the most dramatic demonstration of community coming together," said Elmswell Parish Clerk Peter Dow.
"I have been involved for 40 years now in this community. I have never seen anything like it. It really has caught the mood of the moment."
- 1 More Suffolk petrol stations closed as PM plans action
- 2 Explained: What is causing the long queues at petrol stations?
- 3 Lorry drivers being offered up to £60,000 and other bonuses as shortage bites
- 4 Blaze spreads from classic car to bungalow next door
- 5 How it all unfolded: Town grab late point against Owls in bizarre fashion
- 6 Two arrested after man dies in crash
- 7 Dramatic pictures as huge barn fire breaks out near coast
- 8 Match Ratings: How Town players performed against Wednesday
- 9 22 Suffolk schools have Covid-19 outbreaks
- 10 Suffolk petrol stations avoid closure as garages shut nationwide
Mr Mapey said 55 volunteers turned out one day to mow the grass and cut down the weeds and paint inside and out.
"It's been a really lovely team, community effort to get the pub up to standard," he said.
The event on July 30, which featured a live band, saw about 350 people on site - which Mr Dow said showed "a need" for the pub.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "What we demonstrated on Friday last is we have got vast community support."
Mr Mapey said the response had been "heart-warming."
The landlord is growing a team of up to about 15 people to staff the Tavern, which he said "absolutely" had a lot of potential.
He said: "Live music is what we love. We have three different cask ales on that will always be changing.
"It's trying to make it a good, viable, community pub. We are interested in the public telling us what they want."
Mr Mapey said they had spent about £8-10,000 on improvements to the pub so far, including new outdoor furniture, new beer dispenser equipment and cellar cooling.
Mr Dow said they were hoping to start building work in April/May next year, during which the pub will have to close.
He said community shares in the pub would make a "major contribution" to funding the works.
The Tavern doesn't currently have a restaurant, but is due to have one once the major works are complete.