Support floods in for pub campaign
By Benedict O'ConnorMORE than 1,300 people from around the world have backed the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to save Britain's smallest pub.The EADT launched the campaign to save the historic Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds - which measures just 15ft by 7ft - and it has attracted support from 1,390 people, including backing from as far afield as Australia, America, Ireland and Spain.
By Benedict O'Connor
MORE than 1,300 people from around the world have backed the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to save Britain's smallest pub.
The EADT launched the campaign to save the historic Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds - which measures just 15ft by 7ft - and it has attracted support from 1,390 people, including backing from as far afield as Australia, America, Ireland and Spain.
The campaign aims to persuade St Edmundsbury Borough Council to allow tables and chairs to be placed outside the tiny pub, so it could expand its clientele and safeguard its financial future.
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Pub landlord, Martin Baylis, said he was astounded and heartened at the number of people who were supporting the campaign.
“The response has been fantastic, all we need now is for St Edmundsbury council to give us their support and give us what the people clearly want,” he added.
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The EADT handed the huge pile of ballot papers to St Edmundsbury Borough Council yesterday.
A council spokesman said: “They will be passed onto the licensing committee for consideration along with all other submissions.”
The novelty of the pub, housed in a building that dates back to the 1670s, has become something of a tourist attraction over the years and it does a brisk trade in T-shirts and merchandise.
But Mr Baylis said the size of the pub was too restricting to allow a thriving drinks trade.
He has applied to the council to be able to place six tables and chairs on the pavement in the Traverse, close to where a neighbouring café already has permission to serve food and drinks outside.
The campaign has also received the support of Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley, deputy town mayor David Lockwood and veteran councillor Sheila Wormleighton, all of whom wish to see the historic pub survive.
Mr Ruffley said: “If it is a case between allowing tables and chairs or closure, I think this is something the council should look at very carefully. I am certainly in support of the pub.”
The Nutshell is a grade II listed building and has been in use as an inn for 131 years. It used to have benches outside, but they were removed in 1990 after a complaint that passers-by were subject to foul language from customers.
About 15 people can fit into the bar comfortably, but in 1984 a total of 104 people and one Jack Russell dog managed to squeeze in, a record which still stands.
The application is due to be decided by the council's licensing committee later this month.