Warham is a village in Norfolk situated about 3 miles inland from the north Norfolk coast. It is 3 miles south-east of the seaside resort of Wells-next-the-Sea, at the centre of the heritage coast and 31 miles north-west of the city of Norwich.
Warham has a population of 193 in 79 households and just south of the village is Warham Camp, a small ancient hill fort earthwork built by the Iceni in the 2nd century BC, known locally as ‘the Danish Camp’.
Although the Three Horseshoes dates back to 1725, pub’s recent history saw its closure for 12 months for extensive renovations (although retaining many of the pub’s original features) and it reopened in August 2017.
Licensee Fiona Farrow took over the running of the pub, and is front of house while husband Michael is the Head Chef and looks after the catering side of the business. The majority of the menu features dishes locally sourced and complemented by local ales, supporting the local economy. The couple have also been busy refurbishing the accommodation with four en-suite double bedrooms completed and three more planned later this year. They have also created a bar in the spacious walled beer garden which is proving to be very popular with families.
Fiona and Michael were aware of the Norfolk County Council initiative with Pub is The Hub to help rural pubs diversify and made contact with the local advisor, Terry Stork, to discuss possible projects. They decided to create a café in the old store room adjacent to the courtyard, which would give easy access to this facility, and it would hopefully become a meeting place and encourage both young and old to socialise.
The new Courtyard Café is endorsing Fiona’s vision of assisting the community to socialise, and is a great asset for the village, used many parents and their children, local groups and sports teams mixing together with older, less mobile customers; all helping to combat loneliness and isolation. The Courtyard Café provides teas, freshly ground coffee, homemade produce and a full menu of the best local produce and enjoyed an ‘official opening‘ in June with Norfolk County Councillor, Dr Marie Strong.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Pubs can provide other community spaces for those who don’t want to go to ‘the pub’ in the daytime
- Pubs can draw new and different people in to help reduce social isolation
- Sourcing food and drink from local suppliers assists the local economy
- A local authority with vision can have a positive impact on a rural community
- Schemes like this generate a positive perception of the pub through local goodwill and publicity
|Total Cost of the Project||£11,161|
|Norfolk County Council’s contribution to Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund||£3,000|