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Villagers raise a glass to new owners and landlords as Butley's Oyster Inn officially reopens

PUBLISHED: 18:44 19 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:56 21 March 2017

The Oyster Inn at Butley reopens - at the front are new landlord and landlady, Rob and Tracy Butcher. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

The Oyster Inn at Butley reopens - at the front are new landlord and landlady, Rob and Tracy Butcher. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Archant

Pub lovers in Butley are celebrating today after the first pints were pulled at the revamped Oyster Inn - four years after shutting its doors.

Villagers raise a glass at the official reopening of the Oyster Inn at Butley. Picture: NIGEL BROWNVillagers raise a glass at the official reopening of the Oyster Inn at Butley. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

More than 100 people turned up for the official re-opening of the pub this weekend, tucking in to roast dinners and Suffolk-brewed beers.

Three jam-packed opening events were hosted by new owners Judi and Andrew Newman, both 46, who bought the pub last year and have spent the past few months refurbishing it.

Villagers had feared last orders may have been called for the final time after the pub closed its doors to the public four years ago.

It was starting to become derelict through not being used – but Mr and Mrs Newman were set on reviving the pub’s role at the heart of the community.

Owner Judi Newman with a clipping from the East Anglian Daily Times pledging to preserve the Oyster Inn. Picture: NIGEL BROWNOwner Judi Newman with a clipping from the East Anglian Daily Times pledging to preserve the Oyster Inn. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Working with new landlords Rob and Tracy Butcher, they also plan to build a holiday let, village shop and microbrewery at the site in years to come.

Mrs Newman said: “Not having the pub open was sucking the life out of the village. You can see how much it means to people.

“It really is at the heart of the Butley community. It’s a beautiful little place. “There’s also quite a lot of history surrounding the Oyster – it was one of three folk pubs including the Crown at Snape and the Ship at Blaxhall which musicians used on their circuits.

“People here were really upset when they lost the pub and we hope we’ve brought as much of the old character of it to the refurbishment. It would have been a tragedy to the whole village if the Oyster had closed and we are glad to have opened it again.”

Official opening of the Butley Oyster Inn. Pictured are new staff Joyzena Keeble with Iefan Wade. Picture: NIGEL BROWNOfficial opening of the Butley Oyster Inn. Pictured are new staff Joyzena Keeble with Iefan Wade. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Customers at the opening event praised the new landlords and owners for their efforts in refurbishing the pub.

Stephen Read, an artist with exhibits in Suffolk and London, has lived in the area since 2002.

He said: “It’s amazing. I’m so happy to be sitting in here again, everyone was concerned it would close. Butley is a small village and the pub played a massive part in the community.”

Tony Rose played folk music at the Oyster when it first opened.

He said: “When I first played here the pub was bare but it was always part of the character of Butley. I think what they have done here now is brilliant.”

The 18th Century pub is quickly becoming popular again – Mother’s Day reservations are already sold out.

Visit butleyoyster.com to book a table.

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