The Half Moon is situated in Rushall, Norfolk – a small rural village 8 miles from Diss, and had been closed for over 12 months when Sarah Campbell-Jones and husband Ray Paul took over ownership in September 2017. This 17thcentury pub has extra meaning for Sarah whose family used the pub for all their birthday celebrations, and Sarah’s Grandparents met in the Half Moon, giving her a lifelong attachment.
After taking over, Sarah and Ray set about refurbishing the pub, while still retaining the original features, and they created a couple of snug areas which were not previously open to the public. They opened the pub just before Christmas 2017, then started renovating the letting rooms, and now have all seven letting rooms ready for use.
Sarah and Ray knew about the Norfolk County Council’s initiative with Pub is The Hub and they made contact. Working with the Pub is The Hub adviser and listening to their customer’s needs, they decided to create a small shop in the adjacent barn and also have a children’s play area in a safe area at the rear of the pub. Sarah and Ray were also aware that many elderly and infirm customers lived in the vicinity and were keen to help wheelchair bound customers, so, therefore, installed a new toilet for the disabled and a wheelchair-roadway so that they and their carers can access the pub more easily.
Pub is The Hub and Norfolk County Council’s funding for rural pubs helped to bring about Sarah and Ray’s vision of the Half Moon being the hub of the village. The shop is a welcome sight for the many campers who use the adjacent farm campsite, and has proved a big success with the community providing a friendly local service to the village. The children’s play area is very popular helping children and parents to relax and socialise, and the new facilities for disabled customers is aiding all sections of the community to get together, helping to combat isolation and loneliness.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Local authority backing giving a kick-start to this project
- Many residents walking to the shop reducing car use and having a healthier lifestyle
- Addressing the needs of the most vulnerable with an inclusive policy thereby reducing social exclusion
- Generating a positive perception of the pub, through Pub is The Hub
|Community Services Grant (contributed by Norfolk County Council)||3,000|
|Total Project Costs||20,864|