BIG NEWS on the future of The Swan – the magnificent old coaching inn in the centre of Loddon . It has been bought by Justin Fenwick of Geldeston Hall who plans to keep it as a pub, but take it upmarket. I haven’t spoken to Mr Fenwick but his wife Marcia told me tonight that the plan is to give it a wine bar feel – and there will be food too. “The sort of place,”she told me, “where ladies will want to come for a cup of coffee”. It’s great news for a building which has looked increasingly down at heel since it closed back in September 2010. And it should be a boost for Loddon too – given that empty buildings drag the whole town down. Mrs Fenwick was keen to stress that it’s early days and the timescale is as yet uncertain. Two other quick facts: the bowling club are safe – they will be allowed to continue playing on the green behind the pub as they have done since time immemorial. And there are longer term plans to build single-storey accommodation for elderly people between the pub and the bowling green. More info when I get it.
* More on the recent history of this building here.