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Broads pub closed and boarded up

PUBLISHED: 07:33 21 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:04 06 July 2010

The boarded up Pleasure Boat pub

The boarded up Pleasure Boat pub

A Norfolk Broads pub popular with boat owners has been boarded up after its landlady was evicted over a £14,000 debt.

The Pleasure Boat Inn at Hickling, near Yarmouth, was closed by its owner the Midlands-based company Enterprise Inns.

A Norfolk Broads pub popular with boat owners has been boarded up after its landlady was evicted over a £14,000 debt.

The Pleasure Boat Inn at Hickling, near Yarmouth, was closed by its owner the Midlands-based company Enterprise Inns.

In March the EDP reported on the plight of the pub landlady, Julie Mayhew, who faced eviction proceedings over a £14,000 debt she claimed was accrued due to the slack winter time period and loss of trade because of the smoking ban and recession.

On Thursday bailiffs went to the pub and evicted Mrs Mayhew, her three young children, including a six year old girl who has a brain tumour, and her partner Aaron Orton.

Afterwards hoardings and notices were put up saying there was nothing of value left in the building.

Enterprise Inns said yesterday that it expected a new landlord would be in place soon to take advantage of an expected increase in summer trade.

Pub regular Alan Tansley, who wrote a letter to Enterprise Inns demanding Mrs Mayhew be allowed to stay at the Pleasure Boat Inn, said he was devastated when he saw the bailiffs turn up.

Mr Tansley said: “I think Enterprise Inns do not care about people in the pub and the local community it serves. It is an absolute disgrace that way the landlady and her family have been treated.”

The Pleasure Boat Inn entered village folklore in 1959 when an 11-year-old Prince Charles stayed there with his father and was told off by the landlady for having a noisy pillow fight.

The boarding up of the pub follows the recent closures of several other riverside pubs on the Broads and last year Hickling was dealt a double hammer blow when its post office and village shop were shut.

Speaking to the EDP in March Mrs Mayhew, who had been landlady for more than five years, said: “I don't think the figures would stack up economically for anyone else taking over it and it is a reflection of what is happening all over the Broads. . .the tradition of riverside pubs is disappearing.”

Enterprise Inns previously said it had supported the Pleasure Boat Inn for the last two years but regrettably had no other option but to instigate eviction proceedings.

In a statement released yesterday Enterprise Inns said: “We are not prepared to comment further on this case as the matter has been resolved through the courts.

“Following completion of the necessary safety works which need to be undertaken at the site, we will re-open as soon as possible with a new retailer in preparation for the anticipated increased summer trade this year.”

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