• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Save the Berney Arms pub

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
755
As per previous discussions here the future of the Berney Arms pub, which is of course served by it's famous request stop has been uncertain.

The Pub is currently for sale by auction and a local group has seemingly set out to purchase it via this crowdfun http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Berney-arms.
The pub closed in October 2015 and has been missed greatly by the community and passing tourists since then. The interest generated already in this campaign has led us to apply for the pub to become an asset of community value.
It seems a waste to let this pub be sold on only to be knocked down or converted so we are on a mission to buy it, give it a little spruce up and reopen it for Summer 2017. While much of the funds needed will be raised through community shares, we’re also opening this up to other people who want to be part of this exciting project, help the local community and join us for a few beers when we open.

Now I don't know the group, just stumbled on this on social media and thought some of you may be interested!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

jamesontheroad

Established Member
Joined
24 Jan 2009
Messages
1,622
Brave effort, and wish them well, but it's hard to make a pub viable in a small town, let alone this remote location.

According to a moderately successful landlord I know, pubs in Norfolk need three things to really make it: 1) good beer; 2) good food; 3) accommodation.

I can see a bright future for the Berney Arms if there is any possibility of offering luxury B&B accommodation, although it has always struck me as a very small building.
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,616
Brave effort, and wish them well, but it's hard to make a pub viable in a small town, let alone this remote location.

According to a moderately successful landlord I know, pubs in Norfolk need three things to really make it: 1) good beer; 2) good food; 3) accommodation.

I can see a bright future for the Berney Arms if there is any possibility of offering luxury B&B accommodation, although it has always struck me as a very small building.

It already has some outbuildings though and they can be easily got rid of and some proper stuff be put in its place - and im sure a bit of extra land could be bought from the farmer to increase the size. Then with a proper mooring too and maybe the ability to hire out some boats for the broads then it could really work.

but that costs money.
 

TheEdge

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2012
Messages
3,689
Location
Norwich
If someone wanted to take it on they would need to expect to make a loss. There is no way it can be properly viable. Outside of the summer season it would be mostly deserted, unlike other similar "remote" pubs (like Tan Hill Inn for instance) it is genuinely inaccessible except on foot/train or boat. I could only see it survive if a big chain wanted it as a prestige thing for no profit or someone with a lot of cash wanted it as a hobby and didn't need the profit.

I do wonder if the RSPB could take in on as a vistor centre and pub/restaurant for Berney Marshes but talking to people who work for the RSPB in Norfolk there is no interest in that.
 

RichmondCommu

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2010
Messages
6,912
Location
Richmond, London
If someone wanted to take it on they would need to expect to make a loss. There is no way it can be properly viable. Outside of the summer season it would be mostly deserted, unlike other similar "remote" pubs (like Tan Hill Inn for instance) it is genuinely inaccessible except on foot/train or boat.

You're absolutely spot on here. Unless a business is able to at least cover its costs then it's not worth it. I know this sounds harsh and as a CAMRA member I love pubs but they have to be viable.
 

RichmondCommu

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2010
Messages
6,912
Location
Richmond, London
I can only wish them luck. The pub trade is a very very difficult one and (as others have said), making money and keeping the business afloat is hard enough to do in some town centres, let alone in the middle of nowhere. It would be nice to see it take off though. Surely it must be a unique location?

I think that's part of the problem; its unique because its a devil to get to.
 

Rich McLean

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2012
Messages
1,610
For me personally, as a former publican, a pub must have the following for me to even think about it:

- Turnover of at least £350,000
- Large dining room, 60-80 covers, room for Carvery counter
- Separate lounge and Bar area (I won't go into the reasons why)
- On site accommodation of at least 3 bedrooms
- Large Beer Garden and a car park.
- Be in a good condition with no structural issues or maintenance issues.
- Passing trade
- Maximum Rental yield of no more than 12-13% of Turnover

All the above would need be to in order before getting out the cheque book for an auditor to go through previous years books and if an existing business, auditing the current operation under the existing management before I made an offer.

However, that said, some couples with big fat pensions will often run loss making pubs for the community it serves to avoid it being turned into flats/dwellings.

The only hope for the Berney Arms is for someone willing to fund it to run it at a loss
 
Last edited:

martinB

Member
Joined
23 Apr 2012
Messages
44
- Large dining room, 60-80 covers, room for Calvery counter


a novel feature... how does it work?

Sorry!
 

bavvo

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2014
Messages
153
Location
Henley on Thames
I remember going to that pub some thirty odd years ago, during my student days. Even then it seemed surprising it was in business, there were only about 2 people there, and this was a summer Saturday. Charming place, and a lovely setting, and a fun ride on the old DMU (no idea what but I think you could see out the front cab from the passenger seats, which was fun.) I hope it does somehow survive.
 

MotCO

Established Member
Joined
25 Aug 2014
Messages
1,952
If the pub is inaccessible by road, how does it get its provisions delivered? By rail or boat? In which case, that would increase its costs as well.
 

a1a.a1a

Member
Joined
21 Mar 2011
Messages
107
If the pub is inaccessible by road, how does it get its provisions delivered? By rail or boat? In which case, that would increase its costs as well.
I understand there is a private road, possibly with restricted access imposed by the land owner or even the RSPB I suppose?

Looking at the proposal they will have accommodation - 'We’ll have on-site wooden lodges and plan to add*glamping facilities too. Just imagine how the stars will look with nothing around for miles.'

Worryingly they only have 27 days to raise about 29 1/2 grand.
 

IanD

Established Member
Joined
18 Sep 2011
Messages
2,662
Location
Newport Pagnell
Would £120 get us much?

I was thinking all forum members - 32,358. Or failing that the ones that have been active this month 3,918.

If we all turn up by train then the return trip would knock spots off that Coombe Junction Halt thing they did the other week.
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
755
I was thinking all forum members - 32,358. Or failing that the ones that have been active this month 3,918.

If we all turn up by train then the return trip would knock spots off that Coombe Junction Halt thing they did the other week.

If we all turned up by train it would expire before Cantley.

I am liking where this is going, I'll pledge something so hopefully they'll get a bit out of us.
 

Jettica

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2016
Messages
5
Hello all, sorry to jump in but this thread was shared on Twitter. I am part of the community group looking to buy the pub so I thought I'd offer myself up to answer any questions.

Thank you to those who have pledged so far! The campaign only went live on Monday evening and, as with all crowdfunding, we expect momentum to grow as the campaign goes on.

We think the pub is viable and have plenty of plans to get more bums on seats as well as offering accommodation; running events; organising trips on the train from Norwich, Yarmouth and so on; and perhaps even our own boat taxi for those who don't fancy the walk to/from Reedham and Yarmouth.
 

a1a.a1a

Member
Joined
21 Mar 2011
Messages
107
Hello all, sorry to jump in but this thread was shared on Twitter. I am part of the community group looking to buy the pub so I thought I'd offer myself up to answer any questions.

Thank you to those who have pledged so far! The campaign only went live on Monday evening and, as with all crowdfunding, we expect momentum to grow as the campaign goes on.

We think the pub is viable and have plenty of plans to get more bums on seats as well as offering accommodation; running events; organising trips on the train from Norwich, Yarmouth and so on; and perhaps even our own boat taxi for those who don't fancy the walk to/from Reedham and Yarmouth.
Thanks for coming on Jettica and welcome!

I've just come across your feed on Twitter myself - @BerneyArmsPub so see that you are indeed at the early stages of the crowd funding thing... are you confident you have time to raise the cash?

Take a look guys - there are some nice rewards to be had! the £40 one looks worth the punt. https://payment.crowdfunder.co.uk/reward/82723
 

Jettica

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2016
Messages
5
Thanks for coming on Jettica and welcome!

I've just come across your feed on Twitter myself - @BerneyArmsPub so see that you are indeed at the early stages of the crowd funding thing... are you confident you have time to raise the cash?

Take a look guys - there are some nice rewards to be had! the £40 one looks worth the punt. https://payment.crowdfunder.co.uk/reward/82723

I believe so. We have the backing of CAMRA and the local community. Crowdfunding campaigns have an awful habit of starting slow. A local brewery just finished one with a similar target and they got the final 50% in the last week.

Of course, if we don't hit our target, you all get to keep your money! ;)
 

IanD

Established Member
Joined
18 Sep 2011
Messages
2,662
Location
Newport Pagnell
Thanks for coming on Jettica and welcome!

I've just come across your feed on Twitter myself - @BerneyArmsPub so see that you are indeed at the early stages of the crowd funding thing... are you confident you have time to raise the cash?

Take a look guys - there are some nice rewards to be had! the £40 one looks worth the punt. https://payment.crowdfunder.co.uk/reward/82723

But we'd have to punt £60 to get the launch invite. And there's only 99 of them left so the other 3,819 members would have to meet on another day :)
 

a1a.a1a

Member
Joined
21 Mar 2011
Messages
107
But we'd have to punt £60 to get the launch invite. And there's only 99 of them left so the other 3,819 members would have to meet on another day :)
Good point! Better get in quick and save my space.
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
755
Hello all, sorry to jump in but this thread was shared on Twitter. I am part of the community group looking to buy the pub so I thought I'd offer myself up to answer any questions.

Thank you to those who have pledged so far! The campaign only went live on Monday evening and, as with all crowdfunding, we expect momentum to grow as the campaign goes on.

We think the pub is viable and have plenty of plans to get more bums on seats as well as offering accommodation; running events; organising trips on the train from Norwich, Yarmouth and so on; and perhaps even our own boat taxi for those who don't fancy the walk to/from Reedham and Yarmouth.

Of course it's not a problem, welcome!

(Mischief managed)
 

Groningen

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2015
Messages
2,866
I see a Berney Arms "station" between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, but see no pub; except a windmill.
 

IanD

Established Member
Joined
18 Sep 2011
Messages
2,662
Location
Newport Pagnell
I see a Berney Arms "station" between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, but see no pub; except a windmill.

Presumably not appering on google maps etc because it closed but it is just North East of the Windmill on the same side of the river at "Ash Tree Farm" (which I think is really south West of the windmill). Long time since I've been.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top