As this is a historic site, bookings details have been removed. You
can however, contact Kev using the email address
info AT the-beehive-pub DOT co DOT uk
We would love to hear from you if you were one of our many
great customers from our time at The Beehive. Feel free to share
any memories or photos you may have! Sadly, a few of the pubs
former customers are no longer with us and looking through the
gallery pages can bring back some bittersweet memories especially when remembering so
many of the characters that used to frequent the pub during our time there.
If you are browsing this website and wondering why I have republished it after all these years,
I was walking along Cannerby Lane recently and was asked if I remembered what the pub was
like before it was a Co-op! Quite a coincidence this stranger should ask a former landlord…
On a personal note, I am happy to see the Co-op doing well in the building. The store still retains
the pub frontage which is nice. I frequently use the Co-op and find myself quietly smiling to myself when
I hear the friendliness of the staff there serving their customers. It reminds me of the warm, inviting and
friendly atmosphere I remember from my couple of years as the landlord. Good customers, great staff
and a very pleasant area to trade and live.
My understanding is the pub was built and first operated by Bullards Brewery. At some point it passed
in to the ownership of Scottish & Newcastle then their subsidiary company, Phoenix Inns. Greene King
bought it as part of a small package of pubs with the original intention of running it as a managed site
under the Hungry Horse brand. After a year or so of being run by temporary managers Jack and Pat,
our BDM was advised the site would become available as a tenancy and we were offered first refusal.
We moved in on the 31st January 2000 paying £11,162 inc VAT for the inventory and £1446 for the stock.
The initial rent was around £150 a week rising to £275 a week once the refurbishment work was completed
in the public bar. As part of the deal, we were responsible for purchasing new furniture for the bar and
installing the new trade kitchen and new gas supply. Greene King looked after the external
signage, lighting and paint job, turning the crumbling white walls in to a rather bright terracotta pink!
Although Greene King wanted to knock through the two bars as part of the 2000 refurbishment, we refused
and insisted the pub stayed as two bars keeping the traditional public bar and lounge layout. It worked
better for our style of operation as a food pub and bar. Within the first few months of trading, the bar
had become quite busy and the food offering really took off - all credit to Sarah’s cooking skills and
menu offering. We were regularly recommended by local guest houses such as Driftwood Lodge on
Wroxham Road (now sold and no longer a guest house) and Mousehold Lodge (also sold and no
longer a guest house) to provide evening meals for their guests. Other local businesses such as the
butchers - who were also bought all our meat from and the former Bon Bon newsagents were also
happy to promote the pub.
During our time at the pub we had two pool teams, regular RAFA bingo nights every Tuesday, themed
music nights usually with Kevin doubling as landlord and DJ. Sunday lunches proved very popular and
quite often we would find ourselves fully booked for this session a couple of weeks in advance.
Discounted meals were also offered, initially this was just on a Tuesday lunchtime but it became so
popular that we also expanded the offering to Thursday lunchtimes too. Occasional BBQ’s were also
held in the large rear garden.
Whilst the pub was thriving, personal reasons gave call for us to sell the tenancy in 2002. The inventory
was revalued at £22,100 (no vat as it was a tenant to tenant sale), Howard Lewsey of Corby & Son
Licensed Trade Valuers had seen us in to the pub and also saw the next tenants, Alan and Marion
Thompson in on the 20th March 2002. Alan & Marion traded for around a year and during their
tenure, the pub was converted from two bars to one large open plan bar complete with the addition
of a new disabled persons toilet.
After Alan & Marion, a temporary holding couple took charge for a few months whilst Greene King found
new, permanent operators. Marcus and Moya Nunn followed on, very successfully trading the pub as a
sports bar. The day Marcus and Moya moved in, I received a call from Howard Lewsey of Corby & Son
Licensed Trade Valuers to ask if I would visit the pub to reprogram the EPOS systems on site.
I was happy to do this and for the first time in a year or so, stepped back through the doors of my old pub.
There had been a small amount of confusion surrounding who was moving in to the pub that day and it was
quite funny to see the looks on my old regulars faces when they walked in and found me stood behind the bar!
Anyhow, tills reprogrammed and a long lasting friendship was struck up between Marcus, Moya and myself. I
am told that is quite an unusual thing to happen between previous and current pub tenants.
In May of 2010, Tom Ball of B.T. Ross & Co. Ltd, a Licensed Trade Valuer from Bedford saw Marcus and Moya
out of their tenancy. After that, the pub had several tenants and holding managers in quite a quick succession.
Greene King did temporarily plan to convert the pub to one of their Meet and Eat franchises during 2011 but
that plan was shelved in 2012 when the pub closed again during the March of that year.
During 2013, Greene King decided to place the freehold of the pub for sale with Norwich commercial property
agents Roche. This became common knowledge in the area during the first week of January of 2014. A sturdy
effort was made to keep The Beehive as a pub with several of the regulars holding meetings with local
Councilors but Greene King permanently closed the pub on the 16th January 2014 and that was the end of
The Beehive as a pub. The building was sold to the East of England Co-op group.
By the time the pub was closed and sold, the pub was a very tired, under invested shabby shadow of what
it had been. I was involved in a few of the change overs as, when I left the pub in 2002 I had established a
business called Reedsafe. Reedsafe specialised in testing electrical appliances listed and sold as part of a
pub inventory. As well as operating Reedsafe, I had also started working as a freelance Licensed Trade
Change Clerk handling tenancy / operator transfers across a wide variety of pub and brewery estates.
Many factors could have been to blame for the pubs demise but the smoking ban, rising utility bills and rates,
ever increasing staff costs and the recession certainly did not help so The Beehive joined the likes of
The George & Dragon, Mill Tavern and Duke of Norfolk which have all ceased trading and
the buildings used for alternate use.
A sad sign of the times.
This page has been put together some 15 years after leaving the pub, if you spot any mistakes or would
like to add some further information about previous landlords etc, please do get in touch.
Kev used to be a
Kev can now be
Have a listen
and get in touch