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MP backs village pub reopening

PUBLISHED: 10:17 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:49 12 July 2010

It was customers at their previous pub who encouraged George and Angie Estcourt to buy and re-open the King's Head at North Lopham.

The couple discovered it was up for sale when they returned to their former pub, the Cross Keys at Redgrave for a charity meal.

It was customers at their previous pub who encouraged George and Angie Estcourt to buy and re-open the King's Head at North Lopham.

The couple discovered it was up for sale when they returned to their former pub, the Cross Keys at Redgrave for a charity meal.

“We had actually semi-retired for four-and-a-half years and everyone was saying you ought to run the King's Head, it would be perfect for you. We decided it was just so lovely and it was such a shame if no-one had it for a pub that we would do it again,” Mrs Estcourt explained.

The property was previously owned by Admiral Taverns and had been closed for about nine months.

Villagers had been campaigning for someone to save it, and from this weekend they will be able to call in for a meal as well as a pint.

“We actually opened in November, just selling drink because it has been a major refurbishment. It was semi-derelict and all the pumps had been taken out. We have replaced everything in the cellar and the kitchen is now a proper catering kitchen,” continued Mrs Estcourt.

She said they were very pleased with the support from the village and surrounding communities, adding: “Everybody is really nice.”

South West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser is also backing the venture, and was invited to perform the official opening.

He believed the King's Head would almost certainly have been lost to the village if they had not bought the freehold, and was delighted to lend his support.

“I have twice taken part in the Publican magazine's “Proud of Pubs” week in order to draw attention to public houses as an important and valuable community resource,” he said. “My message to local communities has always been use your pub or you may lose it.”

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