Royally loyal at the White Horse community pub and shop

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HRH The Prince of Wales became the proud recipient of a loyalty card for The White Horse at Upton in Norfolk this week entitling him to 10% off produce from their community shop.

The Royal visit was organised to the rural community-owned pub and shop because it had received funding from Pub is The Hub and The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

HRH spent nearly an hour at the White Horse meeting the volunteers who run the shop and many organisations linked to the pub such a local knitting club, walking club and history club. Then he got behind the bar and pulled two pints of local beer before chatting to pub regulars and members of the committee.

Having unveiled a plaque in his honour and received his loyalty card, the prince then gave a short speech to the assembled guests in which he thanked all the shareholders who had raised the money to buy the pub as well as the volunteers who helped to staff the shop.

Peter Crook, one of the White Horse Trust Directors commented: “When we set up the loyalty card scheme we kept card no.1 to one side just in case we ever had a VIP visitor. I was delighted to be able to give it to His Royal Highness today. Now, whenever he is visiting – perhaps with his grandchildren who live close by – he can pop in and use his card for discount!”

Pub manager for the White Horse Trust, Jo Albridge said that the day couldn’t have been better and added: “This is a huge boost for the pub and our community. It’s been a thrilling day that we will never forget.”

HRH visits the community shop at the White Horse, Upton  HRH pulls a pint of Greene King IPA at the White Horse, Upton

Now, in its fourth year, the business has grown from one employee to a full time staff of five and a part time staff of 15. The pub and restaurant serves the Upton community and is a popular tourist destination for leisure visitors to the Norfolk Broads.  The shop opened in April last year and is run by a team of some 25 volunteers and has turned out to be a great success. Until this time Upton had been without a shop for a number of years.

HRH chats to Maurice Parker at the White Horse at Upton