Pub-goers in Downham Market set to have a whale of a time after new venue opens

Official opening of The Whalebone Wetherspoon pub by Downham Market Mayor Frank Daymond
Official opening of The Whalebone Wetherspoon pub by Downham Market Mayor Frank Daymond

A new pub-restaurant has opened its doors in Downham after a £2.5 million redevelopment of the historic site.

The Whalebone, owned by pub retailer J D Wetherspoon, was officially opened by town mayor Frank Daymond at the former White Hart premises on Bridge Street yesterday.

The venue, which has created 65 new jobs, reflects the site and town’s history in its name and its interior, with artworks and information boards decorating the walls.

Its manager, David Riggs, said: “Our first day has been fantastic.

“We have had a really warm reception from the people of Downham Market.

“We have had a busy breakfast followed by a very busy lunch time.

“I think this is a fantastic new venture for the people of Downham Market to enjoy.”

Patrons said the Whalebone is a welcome addition to the town.

Jenny Drew and Karen Buckland, both of Downham, said: “We love it. We think the town needed this. We would never have come out to a bar usually during the week, it just wouldn’t happen.

“What they have done is perfect – the way they have laid it out with the little rooms and the big open space is great. It’s so family friendly as well.”

Pat Clarke and Karen Williamson, also of Downham, said: “We think it’s brilliant all-round.

“You don’t feel like you are in Downham when you’re here. It needed this.”