A decade after it was closed by its previous company owners and boarded up, and following repeated attempts by Garboldisham residents to purchase the pub and prevent its redevelopment, the Grade II-listed Fox, which dates back to the 16th century, was bought in late 2016 by a group of villagers who had formed a community interest company. This consists of over 100 shareholders from Garboldisham and beyond, who have each made a minimum £100 share investment. They are represented by a board of nine directors who carry out the day-to-day management. New shareholders are always welcome.
The building was in a poor state of repair, but by December that year a team of volunteers had restored the first rooms to the right of the building – the Den and the Snug, incorporating one end of the bar – and the toilets. A further room, the Inglenook, which includes the main part of the bar, was reopened a year later, with the Long Room, on the left, then opening in late 2018.
The overgrown garden and car park were also cleared and re-established. There is much restoration, repair and replacement still to be done, and this is carried out on an ongoing basis by local tradespeople who volunteer their efforts, while major works have required the recruitment of external help. All pub profits are put back into funding these repairs.
In addition to our usual weekdn opening, the Fox also hosts a coffee morning on the third Friday of each month, a running group every Wednesday night, an annual cider celebration – The Fox has four times been voted Regional Cider Pub of the Year – and a three-day beer, food and live music festival in late June.