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Celebrations after paper helps save village's last pub

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The West Norfolk hamlet of Shouldham had its very own special edition of Archant Norfolk’s Eastern Daily Press newspaper to commemorate the re-opening of the village pub on September 12.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover delivered copies – headlined We Did It – hot off the presses, as villagers celebrated their successful campaign to save the King's Arms, which was backed by the paper.

“We were thrilled to bits for Shouldham and everyone who took part in the campaign,” he said. “We were honoured to be able to support them on something which mattered so much for their community.”

Villagers rallied round when the King’s Arms closed down in September 2012. When the For Sale signs went up, they launched a campaign to buy it, which was backed by the EDP.

The Save Our King’s Arms (SOKA) campaign included two quiz nights chaired by editor Nigel Pickover, and Stephen Fry tweeting his support to his 7m-plus Twitter followers.

People from as far as Hong Kong bought shares in the community co-op launched to buy the boozer. They raised £150,000, with grants from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Pub is the Hub and the Geoffrey Watling Charity covering the rest of the £225,000 needed for the freehold.

John McGourty, who chaired SOKA, thanked the EDP for its support at the pub's official re-opening night.

“The pub was our last one left in the village and a beautiful building, and part of heritage that should be protected,” he said.

Pictured above is EDP editor Nigel Pickover (on the right) and campaign chairman John McGourty with the special edition of the paper.

© Archant Ltd 2013