Great Bromley pub chosen by Essex County Council to host brand new community library
A popular pub in North Essex open part-time as a community hub is celebrating being chosen to host a brand new library service.
The Great Bromley Cross Community Pub was bought by the community in December 2016 after a long-term struggle to save it from being converted into housing.
Currently open every Wednesday between 10am and 12pm as a coffee shop and post office, the pub is now set to add another title to its portfolio – with the grand opening scheduled for 10am on April 18.
The pub announced this week it was delighted to be chosen by Essex County Council as a venue for a community library.
While the community hub plays host to a social reading room, the Essex County Council’s library service will supply the books.
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Jim Craddock, one of the volunteers and shareholders, said his favourite thing about the pub was its versatility.
“The village owns a building but we can use it for whatever we want,” he said.
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“A library is yet another thing that makes this building more than a pub. It’s a real social hub for the village.”
Kate Strowbridge, volunteer librarian and parish councillor, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer local people a library service and would like to thank Essex County Council for choosing The Bromley Cross to be a venue. With the post office, the coffee shop, and events like pop up shops, Wednesday mornings will be a real hive of activity at The Cross.”
The pub is also open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6.30pm till 11pm, and Sunday lunchtimes from 12pm till 3pm.
A group of pub regulars and residents stepped in to save Great Bromley’s The Cross Inn after developers announced plans to convert it into housing in early 2016. For months they fought against the proposals – but finally the group, called Save the Bromley Cross, announced plans to sell shares so they could re-open it as a community asset.
This allowed over 150 people to buy The Cross Inn under the ownership of The Great Bromley Cross Pub Community Benefit Society Ltd.
The pub hosts a range of community events every month, ranging from candlelit carols at Christmas to Halloween craft sessions and pop-up boutiques.