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National recognition for Stoke Ferry pub campaign

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The campaign to save a West Norfolk village’s last surviving pub has received a national award this week.

CAMRA officials visited the Blue Bell in Stoke Ferry on Saturday to present its National Pub Saving Award, in recognition of the successful fight to reopen it as a community hub.

And campaigners say they hope to announce a date for the pub’s full opening soon.

CAMRA present national Pub Saving Award to Blue Bell. (56120450)
CAMRA present national Pub Saving Award to Blue Bell. (56120450)

The presentation took place as volunteers and shareholders gathered in the pub’s grounds for a celebratory barbecue where its newly installed beer taps were used for the first time.

Campaign chairman Stephen Ward said there could be “no better recognition” of its impact.

He added: “People came together to fund the purchase, to renovate the building, which is now nearing completion, and to transform the grounds.

“This is an award for the whole village. Look out for the date of our full opening being announced very soon.”

Parish council chairman Sue Lintern said the award also endorsed its decision to provide a £10,000 grant.

And CAMRA regional director Andrea Briers said: “Congratulations to the team who worked to save the Blue Bell in Stoke Ferry on winning CAMRA’s National Pub Saving Award.

“There were many challenges along the way and I am delighted that they have succeeded in saving this vital community facility and wish them luck for the future.”

A deal to buy the pub was completed last summer after a major fundraising and share option campaign. Renovation work has been taking place since then.

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