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King's Lynn's White Hart taken over by new managers

New managers have taken over what is reputed to be the oldest pub in Lynn.

Neal Durose and his partner Anita Turner took over the White Hart in St James Street on August 5, closed it for refurbishment and reopened for business on August 9.

Neal, who has lived at Downham for the last ten years, used to run a pub in Berkshire 15 years ago but since then has been a musician, performing in pubs around the UK.

Neal Durose and Anita Turner in the White Hart in Lynn's St James Street.
Neal Durose and Anita Turner in the White Hart in Lynn's St James Street.

Anita was previously an executive assistant and gave up her job in Cambridge to run the pub with Neal.

Said Neal: "The pub is a traditional boozer and primarily a sports bar. We are not going to be offering any food, but customers can order in a takeaway and eat in the bar to watch the sports if they wish.

"We are going to be a live music venue and want the pub to be known as the place to be for this kind of entertainment."

He will be performing himself there with his acoustic guitar on his nights off, with his first date set to be Friday, September 6. In the meantime he is planning for a different artiste to perform the first gig.

He said: "We have five en suite rooms upstairs which will be offered on a room-only basis and I am working in collaboration with other local businesses in the town which provide food. Why compete with someone else when we can work together within the business community?"

The White Hart is the oldest continually licensed pub in the town with its first licence dating back to 1625. And it has been the site of an inn or hostelry since the 12th century.

Said Neal: "This ties in with the construction of the Lynn Minster and there is a legend that a lost monk wanders around the pub, but I have yet to see him.

"Outside there used to be two doors, but one is now a window. When excavations were carried out, steps were discovered down to a filled-in tunnel which led to the Minster. So the tale has it, the monk could have found his way to the pub, had his flagon of mead, and then returned to the Minster!"

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