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Berney Arms Update


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18 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Regretfully the expectations of the present owners have ensured the demise of viability.  

The present owners have a lot to answer for. They were also the landlords of Dereck and Sue another good publican couple who leased the Kings Head in Loddon about 15 or so years back. He saw them off as well! 

I remember going in The Kings Head with a friend about 8pm for a pint and some food. Dereck told us the kitchen was backed up with orders and they probably couldn't do us food. No problem we'll have a pint and go over to The Dilraj. A couple of pints later and we head to The Dilraj only to find it rammed and fully booked. So we head back to the pub about 9:30 for a few more pints. Dereck was surprised to see us back so soon and we explained there was no space. How do you fancy a steak and kidney pie with chips and veg and I think the other was a Salmon fillet with veg. That's all I can do for you. It was gratefully received and it was only later on at the bar chatting to Dereck and buying him a drink for feeding us, that it was mentioned that we had eaten his and Sue's dinner reserved for later on. 

Unfortunately them, Chris, John and Tracy and Colin of The Locks are a dying breed. :default_beerchug:

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We're all entitled to our opinions, but I could not disagree with this post more.  I've had some really good nights and very good memories of The Berney Arms from when Chris Shepherd was landlord

Chanced upon this video. Interesting watch about the station at Berney Arms. But also news towards the end (around 9 mins 40 secs) of it opening as a bistro next year as the vlogger chanced upon the p

Oi reckun that'll hev one 'er them there sceptical tanks.

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2 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

I don't agree with you Peter, I think Meantime has nailed it. The right people with the right attitude could make a most enjoyable lifestyle there. 

The right people were there, Tracy & John. Meantime has, as you have written, nailed it. I spent several hours drinking and chatting to John a day before he finally called it a day. He was understandably bitter, adamant that the Berney had been viable, only his rent was continually increased until further viability was impossible.

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19 minutes ago, Meantime said:

The present owners have a lot to answer for. They were also the landlords of Dereck and Sue another good publican couple who leased the Kings Head in Loddon about 15 or so years back. He saw them off as well! 

Didn't they have the Surlingham Ferry as well? I seem to remember chatting to them. I've an idea Hollocks had the lease from Admiral? and sub let it. Lovely people. 

Also agree, along with John and Tracy and Colin Smith - great landlords who really understood the Broads and the way to run a pub in remote/seasonal locations. 

I also agree the Berney was superb in the day and we always stopped there without fail. Had a very good night in there with another Forum member who seems to have gone off the radar sadly. Good times. I too never had an issue with tides. Springs on and job's a good 'un. If it ever opened again Hollocks free I'd be in like a shot. 

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13 minutes ago, NorfolkNog said:

Didn't they have the Surlingham Ferry as well?

Yes he moved them on from The Kings Head to The Surlingham Ferry which was really struggling at the time. He sublet it on unfavorable terms. They tried their best but couldn't make it pay and left. He then sublet to Sonia and tried the same with her. I'm not sure of the exact details and how it happened but she managed to have him removed as the middle man and get a direct lease and the rest is history as they say. 

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8 minutes ago, Meantime said:

get a direct lease and the rest is history as they say. 

Indeed!! It just goes to show what can be achieved when a pub is in the right hands, who understands  the market and not being stifled by a greedy landlord!! 

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7 minutes ago, Bygoneboozers said:

Norfolk Pubs site seem to suggest that Admiral might have leased it to Angliatime, whoever they are.

http://www.norfolkpubs.co.uk/norfolks/surlingham/surlifh.htm

See what you mean. I wonder if that was one of Mr H's "companies" ??

The Norfolk pubs site is excellent. I think they do get information from third parties so this might have got lost slightly in translation? It is at the time Mr H sub let it so that would tie in. 

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6 minutes ago, Bygoneboozers said:

Norfolk Pubs site seem to suggest that Admiral might have leased it to Angliatime, whoever they are.

http://www.norfolkpubs.co.uk/norfolks/surlingham/surlifh.htm

Anglotime was dissolved in 2011, no guesses for who the director was? A certain Mr Hollocks. It was about the time that Anglotime was dissolved that Sonia managed to free herself of this punitive landlord and go direct.

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Talking of the Norfolk pubs site this is the entry for the Berney. 

http://www.norfolkpubs.co.uk/norfolkr/reedham/reedhba.htm

It does have the Greene King logo if you look carefully to the top right of the main building. 

Seems to have done OK as a pub since 1955. I see Mr Schofield paid £2,500 for it. I wonder what is cost Mr H?

The most recent landlords are noted as Mandy Webb and Joe Royle (wasn't he a footballer)? Wonder if they were connected with Hollocks? 

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4 minutes ago, NorfolkNog said:

Talking of the Norfolk pubs site this is the entry for the Berney. 

http://www.norfolkpubs.co.uk/norfolkr/reedham/reedhba.htm

It does have the Greene King logo if you look carefully to the top right of the main building. 

Seems to have done OK as a pub since 1955. I see Mr Schofield paid £2,500 for it. I wonder what is cost Mr H?

The most recent landlords are noted as Mandy Webb and Joe Royle (wasn't he a footballer)? Wonder if they were connected with Hollocks? 

Mr H as Orangetree Properties paid £180,000 for The Berney in 2001.

PI Joe and Mandy took over the Berney after John and Tracy gave it up, unfortunately they never really understood the business. We were sat outside with a pint one afternoon just after they took over. It was about 14:50 and Mandy came out to say that they had to go to Yarmouth for supplies and were about to close the pub for a couple of hours and did we want another pint before they closed. Nice of her to ask and we did have another pint, but we both agreed they wouldn't last. It was just approaching low water and over the course of the next hour we watched as boat after boat moored up, and walked up to find the pub closed. John and Tracy knew that walkers could stop by at any time and always knew the tides and when to expect a rush.

PI Joe and Mandy were business partners with Joe being the silent partner. His real line of work, you might have guessed, he was a private investigator.

To complete the story, he is now the current landlord of The Fishermans and making more of a success over there. We have him to thank for the Burgh Castle moorings being open again after the BA gave up the lease.

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The Berney Arms Inn is covered by land registry title NK261304, I obtained a copy some time ago. Just rereading it I have spotted an interesting point.

"Together with full right and liberty for the Purchaser and his successors in title and all persons authorised by him or them to pass and repass over and along the driftway leading from Berney Arms Railway Station to the said property hereby conveyed either with or without horses carts carriages motor cars and other vehicles from time to time and at all times hereafter and for all purposes"

There is no mention of any right to use the track that leads to The Berney Arms across the marshes, only the section between the pub and the station, which ultimately is also the section that leads to the RSPB. I believe it is them who own the main track out to and past the Berney Arms. However how you would get a motor vehicle out there to use between the pub and the station without a right of access is a mystery! As one of my earlier pictures shows you wouldn't even get a horse and cart down the last part to the station, shanks pony or just a horse, but no cart or motor vehicle, not now at least.

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6 minutes ago, Meantime said:

As one of my earlier pictures shows you wouldn't even get a horse and cart down the last part to the station, shanks pony or just a horse, but no cart or motor vehicle, not now at least.

That's very interesting! :91_thumbsup:

I've walked to the station several times, you might just about manage a barrow of some description but that's about it. 

As someone mentioned earlier you could probably get around the delivery of building materials - say by barge but regular vehicular access just isn't going to happen. He must realise this surely. I can't help wondering if there is some more devious plan afoot behind this scheme? 

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 I can only guess but perhaps it was thought that both customers and supplies would arrive by train thus provision should be made to collect either from the station, whatever the weather. Presumably a car or cart could have been delivered either by rail or wherry. Whatever, a strange restriction that ultimately was never developed. 

In practical terms, by my reckoning, the present owners bought a business that very clearly they don't appear to understand or appreciate. 

 

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22 hours ago, Meantime said:

Not sure that's the case regarding the electric supply.

you are correct, the fault here is my memory, I have just rechecked and the electricity supply is at HV on a single cable for the pub and the mill (and the farm down from the mill, there are various substations en route supplying pumping stations for the most part, plus the pub and surroundings and the last one on the line does the pump at the mill and the farm just down from that.

the transformer for the mill is rated at 100kVA so plenty for the pub and cottages, but would need to be uprated for more houses supposing the supply cable could stand the additional load. as its a spur off the network, any fault will cut off supply, so electricity providers will be wary about adding more customers to the end of such a system as their parameters work out in customer minutes lost, and once it hits a certain level fines are automatically levied. so 2 customers off supply for 3 days is  not so bad, but raise that to 10 customers, and you get hard pushed to reinstate supply quickly enough.

interestingly the substation for the mill (the one for the pub is mounted on a pole next to the supply cable so doesnt count as a substation) is rated by UKPN under the access as "almost impossible!"

the HV supply cable is 3c.0225 square inches, for the uninitiated this is around 15mm2, the smallest HV cable in use today is generally is a 95mm square conductor, so a maximum current of around 80A (at HV) this would convert to around 88kW maximum on that cable, minus any losses inherent on such a long run of cable. (the voltage at the far end can be adjusted at the transformer, but the resistance of the cable will drop the maximum supplied at the far end.

bear in mind that the LV the cable coming into your house is about twice the size (cross section) of this cable you can imagine the limitations that places on the electricity supply out there in the back of beyond.

 

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11 hours ago, NorfolkNog said:

See what you mean. I wonder if that was one of Mr H's "companies" ??

The Norfolk pubs site is excellent. I think they do get information from third parties so this might have got lost slightly in translation? It is at the time Mr H sub let it so that would tie in. 

It must be quite a significant piece of work. They certainly do take info from 3rd parties as I've supplied some and quite a lot of recent detail is lacking – hardly surprising with the rate of change in the industry of late.

By the way, anyone else seen this? 

 

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11 hours ago, Meantime said:

Mr H as Orangetree Properties paid £180,000 for The Berney in 2001.

Was that a good price back then? I know what was paid for the Waveney River Centre back in 1979 so I can only guess that £180K was a very good price on the surface. Perhaps Mr H thought that he was onto a fast buck. Now there is a plan to create four residences. Is the present power supply up to the mark, seemingly not. Sewerage disposal, is that up to the mark, I doubt it. Vehicular access, nothing guaranteed other than problems. But then any building site in Broadland is surely going to be worth at least £200k, it's got to be worth solving a few problems! 

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My first pint(s) in the Berney Arms were in July 63. I had just turned 18 and it was only my second "legal" pub - the first being the Suspension Bridge Tavern opposite Yarmouth YS.

We had just left the Berney heading for Norwich when one of the guys realised he'd left is jumper in the pub, so quick return and another pint - well it would have been impolite not to.

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8 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Was that a good price back then? I know what was paid for the Waveney River Centre back in 1979 so I can only guess that £180K was a very good price on the surface. Perhaps Mr H thought that he was onto a fast buck. Now there is a plan to create four residences. Is the present power supply up to the mark, seemingly not. Sewerage disposal, is that up to the mark, I doubt it. Vehicular access, nothing guaranteed other than problems. But then any building site in Broadland is surely going to be worth at least £200k, it's got to be worth solving a few problems! 

Good price or not, you have to consider that 20k a year rent for a seasonal pub was extortion and provided a way above average return on investment, even more so when compared to The Locks, which at the time was trading all year round, albeit on reduced opening in the Winter for 9k a year rent. Now if John and Tracy had been paying 9K a year, they might just still be there now and the pub still turning an annual rent for the landlord. How many years has it been shut now with no income and just gradually rotting away.

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28 minutes ago, Meantime said:

Now if John and Tracy had been paying 9K a year, they might just still be there now and the pub still turning an annual rent for the landlord.

In my opinion John & Tracey's demise was simply a means to an end. They didn't deserve to be treated that way.

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51 minutes ago, Meantime said:

Now if John and Tracy had been paying 9K a year, they might just still be there now and the pub still turning an annual rent for the landlord. How many years has it been shut now with no income and just gradually rotting away.

Summed up perfectly. Dog in the manger. Bit like the pub co's now. they'd rather see a pub boarded up than charge a reasonable rent and at least get some income. All I can think of is he maybe thought people would be queuing up to take the tenancy on. So sad. Its a bit like a lot of business attitude these days, take it or leave it. No compromise. (sorry, getting on my soap box) :default_biggrin:

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