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Landladies call time on Three Kings pub in Fornham All Saints due to coronavirus

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Two landladies have made the 'devastating' decision to call time on their tenure at a community pub due to the impact of coronavirus.

Wendy Braithwaite and partner Tracy Carter have run the Three Kings in Fornham All Saints for eight years.

However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, they have decided to relinquish their lease on the Greene King pub.

Three Kings in Fornham All Saints. Picture: Google
Three Kings in Fornham All Saints. Picture: Google

Wendy, 59, said: "We feel pretty devastated. It's something we've put our heart and soul into for eight years.

"It's a lovely pub, very much a village pub and we're going to miss our customers.

"We think it's the right decision financially and we will just have to look on the bright side and look for a job."

Among the reasons behind their decision were the pub's demographic of retired people who may be reluctant to venture out even when pubs reopen and its lack of a big garden.

"It isn't anybody's fault," Wendy said. "What's happened has happened and it's hit us pubs really badly.

"We can all do social distancing but if you're running at 20, 30, 40 per cent of your previous capacity, you can't make it work.

"It's really sad because our pubs are our community hubs.

"We have a lot of groups here - it's a real hub of the community and that's what makes me feel more sad.

"All that support is going to disappear - at least for a while."

Before taking on the pub, both were in the nursing profession with Tracy, 51, a specialist nurse in the respiratory department at West Suffolk Hospital and Wendy a senior lecturer at the University of Suffolk for those training to be nurse practitioners.

"We gave it up to have a go at something different," Wendy said. "There's no regrets.

"We lived in the village for a long time. It was our local pub which is why we wanted to take it on."

They are due to hand over the keys in the next few weeks.

On the future, Wendy said they may return to nursing or stay in the hospitality trade.

She added: "We live in the village so we look forward to being on the other side of the bar some time."

A Greene King spokesman said: “While we’re sad that our partners at the Three Kings have decided not to renew their lease, we would like to thank Wendy and Tracy for everything they’ve done for the pub over the years.

"Once pubs can legally reopen we will be hoping to recruit a new partner to reopen the pub for the Fornham All Saints community as soon as possible.”