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‘Best pub in the world’: Community bid launched to save historic pub

PUBLISHED: 05:31 26 September 2020

The Locks pub in Geldeston, and East Suffolk Councillor Graham Elliott, who is leading a community bid to buy the pub at auction. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/Brittany Woodman

The Locks pub in Geldeston, and East Suffolk Councillor Graham Elliott, who is leading a community bid to buy the pub at auction. Picture: Victoria Pertusa/Brittany Woodman

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A much-loved pub which is set to go under the hammer could be the “best in the world”, according to a local councillor leading a bid to buy the historic site.

The Locks pub in Geldeston. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe Locks pub in Geldeston. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Graham Elliott is at the forefront of a community bid to buy Geldeston Locks when the popular pub goes to auction next month.

Mr Elliott, who represents Beccles and Worlingham on East Suffolk Council, said the pub has the potential to be the “best in the world.”

He said: “The pub has a huge emotional and social attachment to so many people.

“I have made a lot of friends just sitting in the garden there with a pint and good local music.

Beccles Ale Festival November 2019, Organiser Graham Elliott Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANBeccles Ale Festival November 2019, Organiser Graham Elliott Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“It is a unique pub and holds a very special place in many people’s hearts.

“You can even canoe there and when you have had a stressful day, to be able to have a paddle and a pint is really special.”

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The pub, which reopened after a refurbishment by Grain Brewery in April 2019, will close their doors on Sunday evening, September 27, before the auction next month.

The Locks pub in Geldeston has had a stunning transformation since Gran's Brewery takeover. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe Locks pub in Geldeston has had a stunning transformation since Gran's Brewery takeover. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Yet the listing, which states the site has “potential for other uses,” has sparked concern from those in the community.

Mr Elliott said: “I’m really concerned it will be bought as a nice place and turned into a private house.

“We want it to stay as a pub and to fulfil its potential as the best pub in the world.”

Despite discussions over a final plan for the future running of the pub ongoing, with group leaders in talks with the Plunkett Foundation for support, the bid has been strongly welcomed by the community as they aim to meet the £395,000 guide price.

The Locks pub in Geldeston has had a stunning transformation since Gran's Brewery takeover. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe Locks pub in Geldeston has had a stunning transformation since Gran's Brewery takeover. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Mr Elliott said: “I put out a plea on Monday evening and my phone has been ringing totally constant since with offers of investment or donations.

“There has been a huge amount of interest so I thought let’s have a go. It has been a pretty phenomenal response and the interest is immense.

“I didn’t realise quite how big it would be, but it has given me confidence, energy and adrenaline to take it forward. I have always thought the only way to run it properly was as a community asset so you have a broader group of people to call upon in the huge peaks in summer.

“People are putting money in before they know how we will work it, but we are working on that and building up our team.”


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