Video: Villagers unite in bid to save historic Cretingham Bell pub
- Credit: Archant
A small village in east Suffolk is rallying behind plans for the community to revive its recently closed local pub with a takeover bid.
Regulars at the recently shut Cretingham Bell are keen to lift the village’s spirts by re-opening the pub, which has been a village fixture since 1967.
Donal Young, an active member behind the proposals, says the mood in Cretingham has been “grim” since the pub closed its doors nearly a fortnight ago but believes a new approach could revive its prospects.
“I think it could be a pub of some renown,” he said. “We believe the only thing that will work is to have it run with a local presence from the heart of the village.”
A recent meeting to devise the best rescue strategy for the 16th Century Grade II-listed building led to a small group of potential investors agreeing to consider purchasing it on behalf of the community.
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If practical, Mr Young says they aim to restore its “rustic charm” to make the most of the “beautiful building”.
The group is also keen to ensure the pub offers high-quality food of a “distinguished” nature, as it has in the past, while hosting occasional events, such as the previously popular jazz evenings.
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“The key thing is that the village must be involved,” said Mr Young, “And what the village wants is a nice pub serving good pub grub where people can get together and talk with their friends.”
The retired company director says The Bell has played a pivotal role in village life throughout its history but had struggled over recent years. He hopes the possible investment will mark a return to the pub’s heyday of the 1960s and 70s when it was a social hub for the village and beyond.
The prospective investors will inspect the premises with a professional contractor in the coming fortnight to determine the likely costs involved.
“Nothing is decided, it’s all up in the air, but there’s a strong intention in the village and a few people with a little bit of money to try to save the pub,” said Mr Young.