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Community pub finally reopens after £20k revamp during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:30 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:41 26 September 2020

Peter Ford, the landlord at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Peter Ford, the landlord at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

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When lockdown hit in March and pubs across the country were forced to close their doors, Peter Ford knew exactly how he was going to spend his time with no customers.

The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Like many others, the landlord of The Railway in Wymondham had no idea how long the shutdown would last, but took the opportunity to work on some long-awaited upgrades to the watering hole – inside and out.

It reopened for the first time in six months on Wednesday, September 16, with plenty of customers piling in to take in the new-look pub.

The Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Mr Ford, who has run The Railway for 16 years, said he had been waiting for the right opportunity to make the upgrades, with the venue “getting a bit old fashioned and tired around the edges”.

He said: “We had a bar down the stairs at the bottom of the pub which we wanted to take out and put in a seating area, but it’s such a big job to do when you’re open seven days a week, so it gave us a chance to do that.

The Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel Moxon

“The bar was pretty much redundant as hardly anyone used it so we’re making much better use of the space now.

“We also pulled the carpet up to put some wood effect flooring down, totally repainted the whole pub and spruced up a lot of the outside areas too, with extra seating across the three areas outside.”

The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

More than £20,000 was spent on the refurbishment at a time when there was no income with the pub closed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The project was delayed at first with demand for DIY products and the closure of hardware stores contributing to long waiting times for materials to be delivered.

The outside decking at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe outside decking at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

But Mr Ford and many others at the pub did much of the work themselves to keep costs down, only hiring professionals for technical parts like laying the new flooring.

In addition to permanent changes made, some temporary measures have also been put in place such as plastic screens between some tables to keep customers safer.

The Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Railway pub in Wymondham has a new look after a £20,000 refurbishment. Picture: Daniel Moxon

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“It’s been a labour of love but we’ve had so much positive feedback from customers, which helps make it worth it,” he said. “The biggest thing we’ve had compliments on is being Covid-19 compliant.

The beer garden at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe beer garden at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

“We were a bit concerned with everything that not many people would turn up on the first day, but we were really busy. We’re amazed to see how many people are actually coming out to see us.”

The beer garden at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe beer garden at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Peter Ford, landlord at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel MoxonPeter Ford, landlord at The Railway pub in Wymondham. Picture: Daniel Moxon


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