One of the Second World War’s most iconic aircraft has been celebrated with the naming of a new public house in Feltwell.
The Wellington, due to open its doors tomorrow, has been named after the Wellington bomber which flew countless sorties over mainland Europe during the hostilities from the nearby Feltwell RAF base, currently home to the USAF.
Formerly known as the Wine Lodge, the revamped Wellington also commemorates the incredible bravery of New Zealander James Ward VC. In 1941 Second Pilot Ward, based at Feltwell, saved his aircraft and crew by climbing out on to the fuselage thousands of feet over Germany to smother flames caused by flak.
A painting of the Wellington saved by James Ward features on the pub sign. It was created for the pub by local artist Dan Morgan.
New landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison were keen to reflect the strong historic RAF legacy of the area when they took over the pub but are also incorporating some interesting features including a dedicated youth facility, The Hangar, at the rear of the pub aims to provide young people in the village with a venue to socialise.
Ex-barman Mr Samuels, 26, said: “We’ve dedicated the pub to Feltwell’s rich RAF history through the name and many of the internal decorations. It’s a proud heritage that needs to be celebrated with the incredible endeavours of James Ward VC providing much of the inspiration.
“We are very excited to have some representatives and veterans of 75 squadron attending the opening event alongside personnel from the 48th Fighter Wing who occupy RAF Feltwell today.
“The Hangar will be aimed at young people in the village who currently have no indoor meeting place and will also double up as a room for hire. We will also be offering bed and breakfast towards the end of 2014 as the only accommodation available to visitors in the village.”
Mr Samuels organised the successful Feltwell Beer Fest last August and that will return over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May with The Wellington, along with the Chequers and Feltwell Social Club involved.