Norfolk

Norfolk village hall becomes 'pub' every Thursday

Briningham village hall on pub night
Image caption Briningham residents gather at their village hall every Thursday for pub night

A north Norfolk village hall has brought its community together by becoming a "pub" once a week.

Briningham village hall, near Holt, opens its doors to drinkers every Thursday night, more than 40 years after its last pub closed.

Villager Paul Rogers set up a mobile bar after a request for ideas on how the hall could be used more.

Briningham has no post office or shops and The Old White Horse shut in the 1960s.

"I thought 'I don't know anyone in the village' so why not set up a pub night," said Mr Rogers, who runs a mobile bar company.

He has lived in the village for seven years and said he wanted to help create a meeting point to bond the community.

"We have up to 30 people in every Thursday, it is a real social occasion," he said.

"There are some guys who have nowhere else to go."

'Helped us settle'

"There is one gentleman and his wife has just been taken into a home, he looks forward to coming out every Thursday to have a drink and socialise with people otherwise he would be sitting in front of the TV seven days a week."

Susan Lomax has recently moved into the former public house and feels that the scheme has boosted a sense of belonging among the villagers.

"It's terribly important, especially for people like me and my husband because we moved to Briningham last year and it's helped us to settle into the community very, very quickly," she said.

Mr Rogers has been pulling pints at the village bar since October and despite barely covering his costs he thinks the benefits have outweighed the financial considerations.

"As a village we have become very community spirited," he said.

"I'm now very good friends with the people who live across the farm from me and I didn't even know they existed before."