Royal Oak Public House
Royal Oak Public House
A Brief History
This public house situated on the North Walsham Road was evidently an old established licensed premises since the first licensee Edmund Hunting is registered in 1789. From whence the beer he sold came from is unknown as not until the 1830s did the company Steward and Patterson exist although John Patterson had purchased a brewery in Magdalen Street owned by James Beevor in 1794. Records show that the premises had been acquired by Steward and Patterson's by the late 1870s. This was then to follow the normal run of events of all Steward and Patterson owned properties being transferred first to Watney Mann, Norwich Brewery and then to a private company Enterprise Inns.
The sick club
With no government Social Security many people belonged to what might be termed as Friendly or Benefit Societies so when work was impossible through illness you could claim from the Society or Club. The Royal Oak had set up a benefit club being run by trustees William Fox and Thomas Rose in 1845. One of the members a Thomas Larkman sprained his ankle and was in receipt of an allowance. However as soon as he was better and could walk he was thrown out of the club. As there was nothing in the rules to entitle them to do this Larkman took them before the magistrates who ordered that he should be reinstated to the club.
Reopening and final closure
In 2003 plans were afoot to turn the premises into a veterinary surgery this however was abandoned and a refurbished pub reopened in 2011 once again after a seven year absence serving cask beers. Unfortunately the venture was not a success as in August 2012 the premises once again closed and this time there was to be no return. Plans to convert the building to commercial premises received approval and now in 2015 this is indeed what stands on the site although still showing signs that it had at one time been a licensed premises.
Regulars of the Royal Oak Public House enjoying a 'mardle' and drink. From left to right: Mr Fred Quadling (80), Mr Bob Minter (89), Mr George Websdale (85), Mr George Henry (80), Mr Rueben Thacker (80), Mr Bert Savoury (72) and Mr Sid Turner (72). The combined ages of these fine fellows is 558 years