Iconic town pub up for sale

EXCLUSIVE: A former landlady of an under-threat Felixstowe pub may start a campaign to save the historic building if it is threatened with demolition, it emerged today.

FELIXSTOWE: A former landlady of the under-threat Fludyer Arms Hotel may start a Blue Cross-style campaign to save the historic building if it is threatened with demolition, it emerged today.

The landmark has stood proudly on the seafront since 1839, albeit rebuilt since then, but with the retirement of its licensee last night, the pub could face closure.

Punch Taverns, which owns the building, has put the pub on the market in case no new proprietor can be found and they are forced to sell.

Former landlady Donna Wilkinson remembers visiting the pub as a child on days out to the seaside.

She has been involved in its management since 2000, when her late husband Charles took over along with two friends.

The couple later ran the pub on their own, and when Charles sadly died in November 2006, Donna took up the mantle.

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The 50-year-old, of Maybush Lane, said: “I had been running it for eight years so it was time to go, but it was very sad to leave. It’s the end of an era.

“I just hope it doesn’t get knocked down and turned into flats because that would be incredibly sad.

“Hopefully whoever takes it over will keep it the way it is, as the Fludyer Arms. If they start wanting to knock it down, I will have to start a campaign to save it like the Blue Cross.

“Fludyer is such a big part of Felixstowe. It’s one of those places that everyone knows.”

The pub was named after Felixstowe resident Sir Samuel Fludyer, grandson of the 18th century Lord Mayor of London of the same name.

The original Fludyer Arms was a wooden building dating from at least 1839, and was managed by William Smith, an operator of bathing machines on the beach. It was also a post office, with mail arriving from Ipswich at 8am and being distributed around the town by 9am.

The current brick structure was built alongside the timber building in 1903, but it is not known when the newer building overtook the other as the site of the hotel.

A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said: “We are looking at all options at the moment, which is why there is a ‘for sale’ sign up.

“But our preference is to find a licensee to work with and to carry on the pub, rather than selling it.

“It is always our priority that our pubs are open and trading and serving their local communities.”

The pub will be run by a temporary manager until a decision is made about its future. Anyone interested in taking on the licence can contact Punch on 0844 848 3279.

n What are your memories of the Fludyer Arms? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.