The Locks, Geldeston | www.savethelocks.com
Sarah Hardy tells you how you can buy your own bit of an iconic Norfolk pub!
The Locks at Geldeston, near Beccles, is a gorgeous, quirky sort of place, and one of Norfolk’s most charming pubs.
Now there’s the chance to own a little bit of it as the community group that bought it last year is looking for 500 shareholders.
Graham Elliott, an East Suffolk councillor and leader of the group, explains that shares from £50 to £50,000 are available, saying: ‘It’s a chance to be part of what we are doing and to safeguard the future of The Locks.’
The group bought the pub at auction last year for £405,000, with the help of ‘dozens of small and big loans,’ Graham says, plus three bridging loans.
Now the group needs to fundraise to ensure its future – and get it back open. Graham explains: ‘It is really now just a shell and needs a complete refurbishment and refit – it definitely needs some TLC.
‘‘But it will develop organically – it probably won’t be fully finished when we open but we want to take it slowly and get it right.’
Graham hasn’t got a particular date in mind when the 300-year-old pub might reopen and it will, of course, depend on government regulations. But the group does have a clear vision of what it will be like: unpretentious, family friendly, dog friendly, with local beers, seasonal, regional food and lots of events.
He says: ‘Music will be an important part of what we offer – plus theatre productions, festivals and story telling sessions – and we have some of our own very special events like our conker championships, Maypole dancing and, of course, the dwile flonking throwing contests.’ For those that don’t know, dwile flonking is an old East Anglian ‘sport’ involving two teams and a piece of cloth. You really have to see it in action to begin to understand it!
‘It is a unique place, in the middle of nowhere and we have the saying that what happens at The Locks, stays at The Locks!’ Graham adds.
Certainly, tucked down a long, bumpy country track, with large gardens and its own moorings, The Locks represents all that is great about British pubs – and there are already two shareholders in Australia!
The share issue is open until March 15 and the prospectus can be viewed online.