New licensee for village’s only pub

A VILLAGE’S only pub has been taken over by a new landlady, three months after it was bought by a property developer.

Pauline Sudgate is running the White Horse in Great Waldingfield, having leased the pub from Barry Drury and his son Matthew.

Mr Drury said: “I wish Pauline all the best, she is very hard-working and I hope that she makes a success of this.”

The pub’s previous landlady, Debbie Smith, had hit out at residents of the village, who she claimed had not supported the business.

Mrs Smith said that, despite her best efforts since taking over in December 2010, as few as 25 customers visited the pub per week.

Miss Sudgate could not be reached for a comment.

Mr Drury and his son bought the premises in February from Greene King, which had placed it on the market for £285,000.

Another of his properties, The Pied Cow in King Street, Sudbury, may soon be offered up as retail units.

“I am hoping that if some positive people come forward, in the near future I can offer it as small premises for start-up businesses,” said Mr Drury.

“It could be partitioned off as three to four retail or office spaces, such as hairdressers, estate agents, craft or gift shops, anything really.”

Mr Drury said he remained keen to lease The Pied Cow as a pub, but explained that while there had been tentative interest from restaurateurs, publicans and small business owners, he had seen few concrete proposals.

“I am open to suggestions,” he said. “It is not in my interest to keep anywhere empty and I’d like to improve the area with some form of usage.”