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Power workers boost pub’s revival

A group of King’s Lynn power workers dug deep to help a community initiative reviving a Stoke Ferry pub.

From News & press - 13 August 2021 12:00 AM

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Over two days, staff from UK Power Networks, who distribute electricity across the East of England, volunteered to help the Blue Bell pub which is planning to reopen later this year.

The pub has been saved by a community enterprise group and the work involved clearing the ground around the building to help accelerate its refurbishment plans.

Jonathan Stannard, who lives in Stoke Ferry, works as a cable jointer for UK Power Networks and organised the volunteering which made use of the company’s Donate a Day scheme.

He said: “I live in the village and have bought a few shares in the pub. It’s going to be more than a pub, it’s going to be more a community hub, so it’s really an investment in the community from me. My partner and children have also put money in.

“The Blue Bell pub struggled for a few years before closing, but when I first moved to the village in 1997 it was a thriving place, I remember going to live music gigs there and it having a great atmosphere. Over time, it lost its way, but it’s been great to see the campaign to get it reopened.

“We cleared the land and put in some trenches so that electrical work can take place. A lot of people are donating time and volunteering on the rebuild, with the reopening scheduled for November.

“We had a productive couple of days, one of us spent most of their time removing carpet tacks on floorboards they plan to reuse. We also flattened a wooden shed that needing demolishing, so it was hard work, but enjoyable. The people at the pub were really grateful for the work we did and gave us a good lunch!”

Stephen Ward, chair of the committee working to reopen the Blue Bell pub, said: “We are very grateful to the UK Power Networks team for their support. They got so much done for us in the two days they generously gave to the project.”

UK Power Networks gives its staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer or fundraise in their local community.

Joining Jonathan to do the work on day one were Jeff Tucker, Charlie Kelk, Martin Wright, Mark Griffin and Kevin Dunthorne, with Graeme Burton, David Wright, Kieron Panks and Michael Hampton assisting on the second day.