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Cheers, West Norfolk CAMRA announces awards for pubs and clubs

Things are beginning to get back to normal, and people are returning to pubs across West Norfolk.

And to celebrate, West Norfolk CAMRA have announced their annual award winners as the public get back to some kind of normality.

CAMRA have heard some great accounts of how pubs have survived lockdown, offering takeaway drinks and meals, turning into local shops, acting as information centres, keeping an eye on local residents, etc.

Just before Covid 19 struck these shores, Wet Norfolk CAMRA branch went through the process of choosing its Pub of the Year, its Cider Pub of the Year, and its Club of the Year.

Chosen for their excellent real ale and/or cider, and also for their commitment to good service and to serving and supporting their community.

In March the branch announced that the King’s Arms at Shouldham had won the award for branch Pub of the Year for the fourth time in five years.

The Live and Let Live. (39350043)
The Live and Let Live. (39350043)

The Live and Let Live in Windsor Road King’s Lynn won the Cider Pub of the Year, and Ferry Lane Social Club is Club of the Year.

Voting was extremely tight, particularly in the Cider Pub competition, and it was decided to make an extra award, of runner-up, to the Blackstone Engine Bar at Denver Mill who won the award outright last year.

West Norfolk CAMRA branch and the venues were unable to arrange presentations and celebrations before lockdown, and it is only since pubs and clubs have been allowed to re-open that we have been able to get the certificates distributed.

However, it is a good chance to highlight and celebrate the achievements of pubs and clubs in the area, and to

assure the public that they are open for business.

Branch chairman Andrea Briers said: “This year’s competitions included some very good candidates and I would like to congratulate all of our branch winners on their success.

"It has been a very challenging time for all of our pubs and clubs and I would encourage people to support them as we come out of lockdown."

Ian Skinner, of the King’s Arms, thanked CAMRA for the award and paid tribute to his staff and customers who kept the pub afloat during lockdown.

The venue continued to sell takeaway small casks of beer as well as supplying packed lunches to the local primary school.

The pub has also raised large sums for charity by various means including online pub quizzes.

It is now open again for business, using the garden and a marquee on the village green. Strict measures have been put in place to keep customers safe.

Rozi Woods, of the Live and Let Live, said: "During lockdown we have been busy supporting our pub community by doing takeaway local beers and ciders for our customers to enjoy at home and in turn they helped us in supporting the wider community and vulnerable.

"We also hosted an online, stay at home street party and managed to raise an amazing £400 for the Royal British Legion.

"We also did a takeaway afternoon tea to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society which raised £375. Many thanks to all that helped and supported us."

Andrew Humphries, local CAMRA member, with Andy Stonach and John Nash of the Blackstone Engine Bar. (39350063)
Andrew Humphries, local CAMRA member, with Andy Stonach and John Nash of the Blackstone Engine Bar. (39350063)

John Nash, owner of Two Rivers Brewery and the Blackstone Engine Bar, said: "Thankfully the Blackstone received a lot of support during the lockdown with off sales keeping the business ticking over and enabling Andy Stonach to be employed throughout.

"Even with the new restrictions the reopening has exceeded expectations."

The Blackstone returned to normal opening hours last Friday.

Ferry Lane Social Club. (39350048)
Ferry Lane Social Club. (39350048)

Ferry Lane Social Club has reopened from Wednesday to Sunday, and is offering food as well as a range of real ales.

As space is limited, and they expect large number of people to wish to return, it is suggested that you phone beforehand.

West Norfolk CAMRA congratulates all the certificate holders and urges the general public to support these and all pubs and clubs as they make their way out of difficult times.

The What Pub section of the CAMRA website has details of pubs all over the country.

It is suggested that you contact a pub before visiting, as opening hours and arrangements are liable to change.

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