Crown Inn, Pulham Market

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Winner of the South Norfolk Community Pub of the Year 2015

Through its Local Community Champions scheme Pub is The Hub has been able to support South Norfolk District Council for the seventh year in choosing the winner of their annual pub competition. The Winner of the South Norfolk Community Pub of the Year was The Crown Inn at Pulham Market.

The Crown Inn is a 15th Century Grade II listed building situated in a lovely position overlooking the village green, and with its thatched roof and period features inside and out making it the quintessential village pub. Jon Bingham and Partner Amy Beevers took over the running of this delightful pub just over a year ago after it had been closed for some time. They immediately started refurbishing all the trading rooms and brought the splendid fireplaces back into use, revamped the kitchen and cellar areas and gave the pub a complete makeover.

In this first year since taking over they have transformed the Crown into something rather special. When you walk into the pub you get that ‘wow’ factor; it’s clear to see that they are fantastic hosts who have put a lot of work, time and effort into raising the standards, which is now paying dividends; being a true draw for tourists and locals alike who repeatedly return to this outstanding pub.

The Crown Hosts a community fund which goes to support different local initiatives and charities. They have a very close association with local community groups and run fundraising activities with events such as Murder Mystery evenings, wine tastings, and also raise funds for the village hall, Pulham Players, Pulham Surgery Support Group and the village defibrillator. They actively support all the events happening in the village; participating in the annual music day and providing a barbeque; entering a float in the village carnival, and paying for the village Christmas tree. Jon and Amy get involved and usually lead the way with everything concerning the community.

The Crown Inn prides itself in obtaining all the fresh produce, meat and fish from local suppliers where possible, and they are currently investigating a ‘10 mile menu’ where all the food provided will come from a 10 mile radius; there is also an ever changing range of real ales and a superb list of wines.

Jon and Amy have made a significant positive change to the Crown and have moved it from being a pub with a poor reputation into a pub where families feel welcome. They have made positive steps towards improving services for people in the local area and providing valuable community facilities. The Crown Inn is a great pub to meet friends, this is the place for customers to unwind and become part of this exceptional community pub.

More about South Norfolk Community Pub Awards

Pub customers in the county are asked to vote for their favourite pubs giving details of the help the publicans have given to the community, from which a short list is drawn up. The Highly Commended are selected and then the finalist from each of the five regions in South Norfolk are further scrutinised by a touring panel of judges to pick the outright winner.

The judging Panel of Deputy Council Leader Martin Wilby, Councillor Alison Thomas, Eastern Daily Press Community Editor Anthony Carroll and Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub, visited these regional finalists, looking at the pubs trading areas plus catering kitchens and beer cellars, talking to the licensees about how they make a difference in their respective neighbourhoods. All the finalists have taken the time and energy to help their communities, meaning even more work and responsibility, and are a wonderful example of what can be achieved through hard work.

This year two of the five finalists were area finalists from previous years, so the expectation was high and we weren’t disappointed; the bar was raised yet again.

The five regional winners were:

  • Wymondham & West Region Winners -The Green Dragon Wymondham
  • Northern Rivers Region Winners – The Queens Head Hethersett
  • Eastern River Region Winners – The Railway Tavern Framingham Earl
  • Tas Valley Region Winners – The King’s Head Woodton
  • Waveney Valley Region Winners – The Crown Inn Pulham Market

The outright winner The Crown Inn – Pulham Market

This competition really highlights the tremendous value local pubs bring to the community with all the pubs going that extra mile and the publicans acting as a catalyst to get communities to pull together for the needs of their neighbourhood. South Norfolk District Council should be congratulated for running this inspired competition that showcases licensees and the fantastic work they do for their respective communities. All the winners receive plaques and the outright winner gets the councils help to put-on a future community event worth £1000. This is a great example of inspiring and promoting the work of licensees in their communities.