Walden pub reopens after four years
- Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography
A Saffron Walden pub which has been closed for more than four years has reopened (Friday, April 16).
The Railway Arms on Station Road was fully booked on its first two days, for drinks in the garden.
It comes after a long fight by campaign group Save The Railway Arms Pub to purchase the pub as a community facility.
Dave Kenny, chairman of STRAP, and Saffron Walden Community Pub Limited which owns the pub, said they are still working to get everything done.
He said: “All the work we have done amounts to hundreds of hours. It’s been completely voluntary work with people working around Covid restrictions.”
Mr Kenny said they decorated, and repairs included the ladies’ toilet, which had to be completely refurbished.
He said the work that requires the scaffolding which is currently in place at the front of the pub is on-going but should be finished soon.
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Steve Langford, committee member at STRAP, said the group purchased new tables and chairs, and dozens of volunteers have been planting bulbs in the garden.
He said: “The plants have not fully come out, but come summer it should look pretty spectacular.”
He said drinks have been sourced from Linton Brewery and from Cambridge and there is pub grub available such as sandwiches, pies and pastries.
The pub will be run by volunteers in its first week.
Steve said: “It’s exciting but scary at the same time. We are getting a lot of support from the local community, a lot of people saying they were happy to see this place reopening again.
“It puts some responsibility on us to make sure we are delivering. It’s been a wave of support and the bookings reflected that.”
Steve said the lockdown has provided an opportunity to carry out necessary works, including repairs.
He said: “I would like to express my thanks to the hundreds of people who turned up to help at the pub, whether that is to fix the drains or plaster the walls.
“It’s been a fantastic work and it continues to be.”