Ex-teachers 'throwing everything' at plans to revive historic village pub

Prospective Angel owners Jo and Frank Butt

Prospective Angel owners Jo and Frank Butt - Credit: Bruno Brown

Two retired teachers are hoping to revive a village's oldest pub and turn it into a microbrewery and artisan hub.

Frank Butt, 53, and his wife Jo, 51, who both taught at Langley School in Loddon for more than 20 years, are throwing their life savings at a project to revive the Angel Inn in the South Norfolk village.

Their ambitions for the makeover of the pub on Loddon's High Street is to turn it into a microbrewery with accommodation pods for guests.

The plans include the refurbishment and improvement of the coach house to create a microbrewery, stable shop, and bistro.

Mr Butt, said he wanted to work with the community to launch a "different business model" to turn the pub's fortunes around.

“Jo and I are aware of the pub's history - it is the oldest pub in the village and we both wish to restore the authenticity and tradition to the place with a totally hand crafted interior. If it’s not crafted, it won’t be here,” he said.

Coach house building at rear of pub

Coach house building at rear of pub - Credit: Bruno Brown

Plans for the pub include the refurbishment of the original coach house to the rear of the building.

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It will then be used in conjunction with the restaurant, and for pottery classes, butchery lessons and painting sessions.

The application also includes plans to provide four accommodation pods which will include a double bedroom and a shower room.

However, the couple know they have a challenge on their hands in the current economic climate.

Mr Butt said: “We are aware of the risks in opening a pub in this current cost of living crisis, and I wish to stress the difficulty my wife and I have had in getting financial support from the banks.

"We are throwing everything we both have at this project to make it a success.

drawing of angel plans of the hopeful transition of pub

drawing of angel plans of the hopeful transition of pub - Credit: John Jenkins Architectural Services


“We have ambitious plans which may require time and resources to see them into fruition, but the pub has been closed for long enough.

"However, rather than wait for everything to be perfect, we are going to open our doors as soon as possible, firstly as a coffee shop with the help of Rosy Lee's café from the high street."

Items which need work done at rear of building

Items which need work done at rear of building - Credit: Frank Butt

The couple hope a deal for the pub will go through next week, after an offer was initially accepted in January.

South Norfolk Council's planning committee will make a decision on the application in the coming months.

For more information go to https://www.theangelinnloddon.co.uk/