Former councillor 'humbled' at award win for community pub

graham elliott

Graham Elliott receiving the award. - Credit: North East Suffolk CAMRA

A former councillor has said he is humbled after an award win for a popular rural community pub.

Graham Elliott, a former East Suffolk councillor, picked up one of 50 national awards from CAMRA which celebrate real ale, people, groups of people or businesses that have made a significant contribution to CAMRA’s aims.

Mr Elliott represented Beccles as a district councillor for 14 years, but came to the "difficult decision" to leave East Suffolk Council to focus on making the Locks Inn, in Geldeston, the "best pub in Britain".

geldeston locks inn pub

The Geldeston Locks Inn pub has been a community pub since last year. - Credit: North East Suffolk CAMRA

Since 2021, Mr Elliott has been focussing on the Geldeston Locks Inn pub in Geldeston near Beccles and transformed it in to a community pub operated and run by locals.

It has since been going from strength to strength and attracted recorded numbers of customers during the sunny Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Reacting to news of the win, Graham Elliott said: "I'm humbled that I've been chosen for this award.

"I didn't know anything about it and still don't know who nominated me for the award.

"I was left feeling humbled and it was a nice surprise."

CAMRA was set up in the 1970s to promote real ale and Mr Elliott believes it is a great body to celebrate rural pubs.

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As well as his work at the Locks Inn, Mr Elliott has worked extensively for the Beccles Beer Festival and at ale stalls at music festival FolkEast.

"Increasingly many rural pubs are struggling so awards like these really help them," he said.

"Communities like the one we have here in Geldeston can often really pull together and I believe The Locks Inn wouldn't be open today if we hadn't worked together to save it."

He went on to say that the award win is only good news for the future of the Geldeston Locks Inn.

He said: "I accepted the award on behalf of everyone all the staff and volunteers who have made the Locks such a special place.

"Our aim is to continue having a thriving pub right by the river that people from the community and further afield can enjoy coming to time and again."