War Memorial Gary Trouton

The Blue Bell Campaign

September 2020

Thank you! Thank you to everyone who joined in with the Village takeover on Bank Holiday Monday. Stoke Ferry truly was the Blue Bell for the day! It was a huge turnout that shows how much we all want to see a real village pub in Stoke Ferry again. One-third of all households responded to our survey back in the spring and there was strong feeling then. Judging from Monday’s event, there’s even more enthusiasm now. So many of you turned up that we sold out of Bobbin’s Bakes’ delicious cakes, the great Norfolk beers and delicious international wines very quickly. We are sorry if you missed out, but we are sure you enjoyed the live music from 200 Not Out and the chance to win some of the great raffle prizes. The great news is that the sale of cakes, wines, beers, teas, coffees and raffle tickets raised £1, 200 on the day. The next day we also received a very generous donation of £100 from FutureDev, a local IT company who support the cause! All this money will be used to help fund the next stages of the campaign to establish the Blue Bell as a community pub and hub. Winners of the many raffle prizes have all now been contacted as well as the winners of the treasure hunt raffle. The skilful winner of the wine competition, Steve McKenny – who scored the maximum five marks – has taken delivery of his case of six bottles of wine.

Your Lockdown Heroes We asked you to nominate your Lockdown Heroes. Anne Gladstone of Little Lane nominated a neighbour, David Hitchin, who has been helping several Stoke Ferry residents. Anne said: The man who lives next door to us is a blessing to have as a neighbour. He is always willing to help, not only during lockdown. He has helped us many times. He regularly visits an elderly couple. He shops for them and gives practical help whenever it is needed, day or night. Another person, who lives alone and is very vulnerable, is thankful for his help, with lifts and practical help. He does all this quietly, without fanfare. He is a good man and his kindness deserves recognition. We’ll be delivering some lovely biscuits, cheese and chutney, tea and cake donated by Norfolk in a Box and a £10 Didlington Nursery voucher to David this weekend. We also had a number of requests to thank the Stoke Ferry Volunteer Group. They did an amazing job running errands, shopping, collecting and distributing prescriptions and being there for people to chat to if they felt lonely, and they are continuing for anyone that needs it. So many thanks to Janet, Gemma, Sue, Mandy, Sandra, Eleanor, Anne, Karen, Julia, Eileen, Trudy, and Andrew. They’ll be enjoying a drink on us at the next Blue Bell event.

Thanks We must thank Charlotte of Bobbin’s Bakes for her wonderful cakes and generous support, Duration Brewing for the wonderful online tour and beer tasting, as well as Norfolk in A Box, Thomas B Bonnett and Didlington Nursery for donating gifts for the Lockdown Heroes. Thanks also to Kit Hesketh-Harvey for use of the former church, to 200 Not Out for their wonderful music, to the Global Wine Academy for donating the wines that sold so quickly. And many thanks to Pat and David for loaning the large gazebo from the playing fields.

Next Steps We are applying for grants and a loan from the Plunkett Foundation to help buy the premises. We also plan to launch a share offer this autumn so that supporters can own their own piece of the pub and ensure it serves the village for years to come. If you have not already signed up to our newsletter, email info@bluebellstokeferry.org and we will make sure that you are kept up to date with the campaign. Stay in touch Our website www.bluebellstokeferry.org and Facebook page always have all the latest information.

Stephen Ward

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