Saved village pub is relaunched
A VILLAGE pub has been relaunched after campaigners successfully saved it from closure.The Ship Inn, Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, is now open seven days a week after a consortium of three people bought the Grade II-listed building.
By Richard Smith
A VILLAGE pub has been relaunched after campaigners successfully saved it from closure.
The Ship Inn, Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, is now open seven days a week after a consortium of three people bought the Grade II-listed building.
Now the tenants, David Snell and Sharon Curtis, are appealing for support to ensure that The Ship can become a viable pub again.
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There was a hectic rush to ensure the pub was open in time for Easter and the licensees threw open the pub's doors on Wednesday evening for the community before welcoming the public in on Thursday.
Miss Curtis's father, Clive Curtis, was born in Blaxhall and he was busy painting the pub before it opened.
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Moving to The Ship is “a dream come true” for Miss Curtis, who worked as a chef at the Crown, Snape, for 28 years and always wanted to run her own pub.
Mr Snell, a builder in the Snape area for more than 20 years, decided to take a change of career and become part of the consortium that bought The Ship.
“We want to sell good food, bring back music and perhaps have some dancing - we'll see how it goes,” said Mr Snell.
Maggie Grenham, a member of the Save Our Ship campaign, said the village was delighted that the pub had reopened and residents were pleased that it would open at lunchtime and in the evening seven days a week.
She said: “We wish all the best to the people who have taken over. I think there was a time when we felt it would not happen - but it did and we are very glad.”
Earlier this year Suffolk Coastal District Council refused permission for the then owners, Linda Wilson and Hys Olink, to turn the pub into a house.
Campaigners wrote nearly 130 letters and 409 people signed a petition opposing the closure. There were two letters of support.
The pub's opening hours had been reduced in recent years to only 20 hours a week and in 2003 trade was so poor that there was less than £1,000 for the couple to share after outgoings had been paid.
The new tenants are hoping they will benefit from the proximity of Snape Maltings, which attracts 750,000 visitors annually, and from tourists using the 40-bed youth hostel in Blaxhall.