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What's the recent history behind one of Suffolk's oldest pubs?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 November 2019

The Butley Oyster has a long history Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Butley Oyster has a long history Picture: GREGG BROWN

As one of Suffolk's most historic pubs goes up for sale, we look back at its recent history.

The Oyster Inn is back up for sale Picture: NIGEL BROWNThe Oyster Inn is back up for sale Picture: NIGEL BROWN

The Oyster Inn at Butley has taken many forms over the years. The pub was first mentioned in the record books in 1617 and reportedly had a history as a smuggler's haunt.

As times moved on, so did the pub, US airmen from the nearby RAF Bentwaters often visited the pub with many getting involved with the popular folk nights hosted at the pub.

2013

Rob and Tracy Butcher, landlord and landlady at the Oyster back in 2017, with residents of Butley  Picture: NICK BUTCHERRob and Tracy Butcher, landlord and landlady at the Oyster back in 2017, with residents of Butley Picture: NICK BUTCHER

In February 2013 the pub went up for sale with a range of outbuildings and a two-bedroom flat.

By May the pub had been sold to the London- based Bloomsbury Leisure Group, which said it would be making a substantial investment in the site to create bed and breakfast facilities there while also reviving the pub.

2014

The micro brewery opened up at the pub in 2017 Picture: GREGG BROWNThe micro brewery opened up at the pub in 2017 Picture: GREGG BROWN

In July 2014, the pub's owners were successful in having four new holiday lets approved for the pub. One would have seen the first floor of the pub converted with the other three proposed for outbuildings at the back of the pub. At the time residents were concerned

2016

In 2016, the pub's most recent owners Andrew and Judi Newman take on the pub and pledge to have it open soon. They also express an interesting in bringing back other services to the village.

The Oyster opened  'Suffolk's smallest cinema' in 2017 Picture: GREGG BROWNThe Oyster opened 'Suffolk's smallest cinema' in 2017 Picture: GREGG BROWN

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2017

In March 2017 more than 100 people turning up for the official re-opening of the pub for the first time in several years.

By September the Oyster was housing a cinema, believed to be Suffolk's smallest with just 21 seats.

All the seats came from the Science Museum in London. The first film shown was Whiplash, a story about a young jazz drummer.

2018

In January 2018, the pub expanded by adding a village shop, which was managed by staff from the pub.

It was the first shop in the village for 30 years and sold a range of different products including baked goods from the Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge.

In the same month the pub opened its Brewhouse microbrewery which produced the pub's first ale, Butley Best Bitter.

2019

On May 12 a notice appeared on the Oyster's Facebook page saying that it would be shut for the forseeable future.

At the time it was envisaged that the closure would be temporary but little was heard about the situation at the pub for several months.

In November it was announced that the pub was now on the market for just over £500,000. All the pub's assets are up for sale as well as the pub itself.

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