Burnham Thorpe villagers mark pub closure

Nelson, Burnham Thorpe, hosts villagers mourning one year since it shut.
Nelson, Burnham Thorpe, hosts villagers mourning one year since it shut.

Last Wednesday evening was exactly one year from when the Lord Nelson in Burnham Thorpe closed in controversial circumstances.

Nearly 50 villagers and regulars, gathered in front of the pub for a pint and a song from the Nelson’s Shantymen, to mark the occasion.

Local resident Diana Black, speaking for the community group The Friends of Burnham Thorpe, said: “ It’s so sad to see this historic pub, in the village where Nelson was born, still shut after a year – it used to be a really important hub for the community.

“The pub’s owners, Greene King, originally said it was their intention ‘to reopen for trading as soon as possible’.

“However, Greene King have now assured us that they expect to submit a planning application very soon - to extend the rear of the building.

“If that application goes OK, then they can get on with that work at the same time as doing essential refurbishment, and then reopen.

“It can’t come soon enough for the village!”

Another member of The Friends, Mima Garland, who lives next door to the pub, said: “All year we have been having to explain to disappointed visitors and tourists, arriving by car or by bike or even on foot, that the pub is closed.

“Then we have to direct them to the nearest pubs in other villages.

“One older couple had walked a long way to get here and expected to be able to eat and rest before walking on. Luckily for them, one of the locals went out of their way to drive the couple to the next village.

“The pub’s closure has really affected everyone. It’s been a real loss to the heart and soul of the community. Plus, it’s a real part of England’s heritage.”

A significant feature of the pub was always the Nelson-related memorabilia. Much of this had been lent or donated to the pub over the years. It is hoped that when the pub reopens ways might be found that some of these items may be redisplayed and that new items will be lent so that, as far as possible, the traditional character of The Nelson will be restored.