Hello to everyone who attends the coffee morning, lunch club and afternoon tea, I hope you are all keeping safe and well.   Obviously, there will be no events until further notice, let’s hope this won’t be too long. I am missing you all, although as I walk around the village or to The Ploughshare Shop, I see some of you and it is lovely to have a chat. On the subject of The Ploughshare Shop; Natalie has done a brilliant job supplying the village with provisions and some wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables.   If you haven’t visited yet I suggest you do, save yourself a trip into town or the anxiety of trying to get an on-line shop.

Thank you, Natalie

We are really very lucky to live where we do in such a lovely, quiet part of Norfolk and let’s hope we can all stay safe and see this through.

Take care, Yvonne Ball





May has seen much work to the pub in the lead up to our opening. Painting has continued throughout with extensive painting and decorating to the upstairs flat and the restaurant areas. The pub sign has been refurbished and re-hung to stand for years to come.

Quotes have been obtained and agreed for a kitchen deep clean and  replacement of broken equipment. We hope to have the kitchen operational and in full working order as soon as possible.

Flooring for the entire pub has been arranged and agreed, this will have been fitted in May.

Following on from the kitchen works, we can confirm a chef has been     appointed to work alongside newly hired manager Rebecca Musgrave.

Rebecca brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, many of you would have met Rebecca at our Easter BBQ. She will be overseeing operations   within the pub and working closely with the new chef and volunteers to help drive the business forward.

Our new chef, Sean Franklin is looking forward to the challenge of   re-launching the kitchen at The Beeston Ploughshare and brings many years experience from working at hotels and private members clubs.

May Opening

We are please to have opened our doors on the 24th May as a drinking pub for locals to come and enjoy a drink or two. We will be open for drinking from this date on and will look to have the coffee shop, restaurant and shop up and running as soon as possible. Please check the website/social media for opening times and updates.

Jem Mace Visit

A great grandson of the late Jem Mace, Peter Mace, was visiting the area and dropped by the pub to see how we were getting on.

We hope to display memorabilia of the former world champion within the alcove between the bar and the restaurant.

If you have any queries about the above, please contact us via email

[email protected] – Do not forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates throughout the month.

Steve Hollis

Ploughshare Update

We’ve done it! As many of you may know, we have successfully purchased the pub and brought it back into the ownership of the local community. Through the help of many volunteers, contributors and fundraising, we have now   begun the process of renovating the pub ready for re-opening!
Thank you to all who have contributed thus far, we hope to have the pub up and running this spring. Much help will be needed from volunteers to get the pub back in working order and many hands make light work. If you can     volunteer your time or skills, please do get in touch with us.
Refurbishment is underway and we now begin the search for a talented chef to form the backbone of the restaurant. A treasurer for the management team is also needed, if you or someone you know would be interested in either position, please contact Henry Dennett on 07702 481984.
Updates on the renovations will be available via our social media on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up to the mailing list via the website; – from here you will receive updates on the re-opening and future events taking place.

Spencer Dyos


(Save the Ploughshare)

Notice to Shareholders and General Public

You are hereby invited to attend the second Annual Members’ Meeting of Beeston Community Enterprises Limited

November 1st 2018 at 7pm in Beeston Village Hall

 Please note: Only members will be permitted to vote on matters regarding membership and the election of new committee members.

General public have been invited so that they can attend and understand more of what the Committee are working on in terms of securing The Ploughshare and in the interests of greater communication and transparency.


  1. Welcome
  2. Apologies
  3. Chairman’s Report, to include:
  • Update on current position relating to purchase of the Ploughshare and options going forward
  • Report on Society’s membership and Membership Strategy
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  2. Adoption of Accounts for period to May 31st 2018
  3. Proposal to dispense with the need for full audited accounts, as per the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, for the financial year ending May 31st 2018

7 Questions

  1. Election of new Management Committee. We are seeking three new members for the committee to replace two compulsory resignations and one voluntary.
  2. Close

Geoff Sorrel, Company Secretary

January 2018

Firstly, a big thank you to all who attended the Save the Ploughshare New Year’s Eve party, which raised an excellent £825 for the campaign.  Many thanks to Kim and Sue for organising this great evening, which was enjoyed by all at a packed village hall. Let’s hope this year’s event will be hosted at the Ploughshare itself!

Preparations continue for the second share offer we hope to launch in early March.  We will be aiming to raise a further £150,000 through share purchases, fundraising and donations to achieve our goal of buying and reopening Beeston’s only pub.

Committee member Geoff has been working hard to extend the deadlines on our grant and loan funding into 2018, as many of the offers expired at the end of December.  The great news is that we’ve now had confirmation that all have been extended into the new year, so will be available to support our upcoming share offer.  We are also investigating a new source of finance that could provide “matched funding” to our share offer.  If our application is accepted, this could halve the amount we need to raise to just £75,000, which would provide a huge boost to the campaign.

The Save the Ploughshare website at was recently re-launched with a new look and is a great place to find out more about the pub’s history and our campaign.  We will also be posting regular updates and event details on the site.  To make sure you’re kept informed, sign up to our email mailing list via the Contact Us page.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, we’d love you to be involved!  To register your interest in purchasing shares, or to offer assistance to the campaign, please do email us at [email protected]

You can also find us on social media using the links below.

Steve Hollis


Beeston Community Enterprises AGM Report

On 2nd November the first AGM for members of Beeston Community  Enterprises was held. The meeting was well attended. A progress and  strategy report was given together with a financial report from the treasurer.

Members were invited to put forward questions and suggestions to the committee. In line with the rules of the Community Enterprise Business the committee stood down en bloc and members were invited to stand.

Six of the previous members were re-elected, these being Henry Dennett, Kim Wheeler, Geoff Sorrell, Fiona Crump, Robert Wall and Julie Lawrence. A new committee member, Steve Hollis was elected to replace Crissy Robinson who decide not to stand for re-election.

The owner of the Ploughshare has until February 17th 2018 to lodge an appeal against the planning permission which was refused in August 2017. The committee is currently formulating some further ideas which will be   reported on in due course. We would like to thank everyone who attended. If you are a member and would like a copy of the minutes please contact one of the committee members who can arrange this for you.

Henry Dennett



Planning Refusal

On 17th August Breckland District Council issued a Refusal notice against the planning application to build three more houses at the pub and thereby reducing the pub by about half. This represents another significant  milestone in our campaign to buy The Ploughshare and operate it as a     community pub. We would like to thank all the supporters who wrote to BDC with objections as this was noted by the planning officer as a contributing factor. We will continue to raise funds and promote our share offer while in the meantime discussing the purchase with the owner.

Henry Dennet


June 2017

We are continuing to work behind the scenes and appreciate that you may be wondering if anything is happening. Currently we are pursuing another source of grant funding that was brought to our attention in mid-April. We have made our initial bid for £75,000 and are waiting to see if we meet all the necessary criteria. Other activities include work on re-publicising the share offer to take it to a broader audience of potential investors.

On a more local note we will be present at the Beeston Fete with The     Ploughshare pop-up pub and look forward to seeing you all there. Further details will follow next month.

1st Anniversary Report

 On 7th March 2016 we held a village meeting which unanimously gave the go ahead to form an organisation to save The Ploughshare. From this, Beeston Community Enterprises Ltd. was formed and work has been         continuing ever since.

The support and effort of local people has made it possible to raise around £12,000 in twelve months from fund raising events. This has meant we have been able to fund the website, insurance costs, publicity signs, printing,   seed-corn money for events and having a professional valuation carried out. The compliance regulations for the share offer were also funded from this money.     We have a surplus running which we want to continue building on.

We have also raised £195,000 from grant funding and social enterprise loans. £180,000 of this could be used for the capital purchase of the     Ploughshare. The other £15,000 can only be used for other purchase and start-up costs. We have recently been approached regarding a further £100,000 fund that we are investigating.

We have met with the owner and have discussed a number of offers he made to us during January 2017. None of these were financially viable for us as a community pub and also would have breached our community status rules, which we have to operate under as a Community Enterprise.

The professional valuation for the pub as a freehold came in at £185,000 and in early March we offered this to the owner. To date he has refused the offer.

As most people are aware, the owner has applied for Planning Consent to change the Pub into a house and build a terrace of three cottages in the car park. We have produced a very robust case for objection to these plans again with massive support from local people and some professional advice that was donated to us. Towards the end of March Breckland Council advised the   applicant that the planning was likely to be refused and gave him the option of withdrawing the planning application. On March 29th the application was withdrawn. This has established that the pub will not obtain change of use or planning development.

We still want to continue raising funds as it makes us less reliant on grant funding and social loans.

Share Offer: We would like to re-publicise the share offer. There are still generous tax allowances available of between 50% and 30% which means if you buy shares you will receive a sizable amount back after we start trading. All share funds are kept in a ring fenced bank account and in the event that we don’t buy the pub you get 100% of your money back.

Thank You once again to all those who have supported us with blood, sweat, tears and financial contributions. We remain positive that we can succeed in our goal of buying and re-opening the Ploughshare for the benefit of the     village.


We have been successful in obtaining a further £50,000 of grant funding from The Plunkett Foundation which takes our total to over £180,000.  We have met with an advisor for a further £15,000 grant which looks promising.  We continue to work on other funding opportunities.  Please be aware that should anyone wish to buy shares in the pub please come forward.  We have had a professional valuation for the pub premises carried out and met with the owner to discuss ways in which we could move forward.  Although he put forward some proposals the committee felt they were unworkable.

The owner has now applied for change of use and planning permission to convert the pub into a dwelling with a terrace of three more dwellings in the car park.  We will of course be opposing this application using every avenue available to us.  We have already received some professional advice.  We would ask all our supporters to register their opposition on the Breckland website:  On this page enter Beeston and then open the planning application.  Alternatively write to Breckland District Council in Dereham.

Although this represents another hurdle for us to cross we are confident that we can oppose the change of use which will mean The Ploughshare remains a pub.  We will then continue our work towards buying it and re-opening at as a Community Pub.   



Quiz-master John and his assistants Maddie & Jim are back to host
‘Save The Ploughshare Quiz Night’
Thursday 23rd February 2017 – Beeston Village Hall
Doors Open 7.00 pm for 7:30 pm start
Entry – £5 per person
Teams of up to 6 people

Pop up bar selling Red or White wine & Beeston Brewery ‘Worth the Wait’ & Soft Drinks
To enter your team please contact Kim Wheeler on – 01328 701399
or John Shakespeare on 01328 701553

Saturday 10th December 7.30 pm at Beeston Village Hall

ChickLit ! Some guys want to save their village pub in Norfolk, so come up with an idea to write a saucy romp to raise money to help them buy their pub. Then the fun starts. Filmed in and around Norfolk it features well known big screen actors and is a not to be missed opportunity. A great film which will entertain and help raise funds so we can save our own pub! Refreshments will be available. Adults £8.00

Friday 16th December from 7.30 to 10.30pm at Beeston Village Hall

The evening will include an easy, beginners lesson in Modern Jive – a fun partner dance, followed by a Charleston Stroll and party dance instruction. No partner needed and no previous dance experience necessary. There will be experienced dancers around to help you learn and lots of good dance music to strut your stuff to! Adults £10.00

Saturday 31st December 7:30pm till late at Beeston Village Hall

Come and see the New Year in with all your friends. Music, Dancing, Pop-up Pub, Buffet, Raffle and a complimentary Glass of Fizz at midnight. Places are limited so hurry and book soon! Adults £15.00 Under 16’s £5.00.

These events are popular and numbers are limited,so to avoid disappointment, please book your place by calling
Kim Wheeler 01328 701399/07736 884002.

1st October 2016
We continue to make progress with the plan to buy the Ploughshare.
  The focus since mid-August has been on the Community Share Offer which is going well with around £50,000 raised to date.  The vast majority of this has come from local people and we would like to thank them for their contribution.
It is vitally important that we keep the momentum going as this is what will attract crowdfunding investment from further afield.  If people see the fund is growing it encourages them to join in, so there is a sense of urgency.  If you haven’t invested yet and you’re still thinking about it, please go to or drop a cheque in with a form to Tawny Lodge Dereham Road Beeston.  You have nothing to lose except the pub!There are two more fund raising events planned over the next few months.  The first is a Clay Pigeon shoot and also a dance night nearer Christmas (see below).  Dates are to follow, so please watch this space.
Thanks again to all those who have invested and all those who are going to.
Henry Dennet

A campaign to save the Ploughshare gathering momentum
and much has been achieved in the past month. (April 2016)

A total of fourteen 14 people attended an initial ‘Committee’ meeting and it was a unanimous decision to cut the main committee down to seven.  Key roles were identified and appropriately skilled individuals were voted in.  The subsequent ‘Save the Ploughshare’ committee is therefore made up of the Chair; Henry Dennett, Secretary; Julie Lawrence, Treasurer; Fiona Crump, Fund Raising; Kim Wheeler, Marketing and Comms; Sara Mills and two general members; Robert Wall and Geoff Sorrell.
Since that meeting the following actions have taken:
The owners of the pub have been written to advising them of the intention to purchase the Ploughshare to run as a community pub, and to open discussions on price.
A letter has been sent to the Head of Planning at Breckland Council to clarify the process we need to follow to establish a Community Pub and initiate the idea of valuing the property.
Henry wrote to and attended a Parish Council meeting to keep them up to date with progress.
A meeting has been set up for Henry and Geoff to meet with the Plunkett Foundation (an organisation who provide grant funding to help set up and run community co-operatives).
The Marketing and Communications Committee and Fund Raising Committee both have dates in the diary to meet (and are keen to welcome more people to be part of these groups).
The Ploughshare can be much more than a pub, it can be anything and everything you want it to be.  Over the next month or so a questionnaire will be being sent out.  Please make sure you have your say as this is really      important to planning for the next stage and also securing funding.
If you have skills, time and/or enthusiasm then do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how you would like to be part of this amazing, and slightly scary, venture…  WE NEED YOU!
Contact details:
Henry Dennett (Chair): 01328 701938
Julie Lawrence (Secretary):  01328 701942
Sara Mills (Marketing and Communications):  01328 702261 or 07500 939387
Kim Wheeler (Fundraising and Events):  01328 701399 or 07736 884002


The ‘Save the Ploughshare Pub’ campaign continues to gain momentum.  Thank you to  everyone who completed the questionnaire – around 250 were distributed and so far we have received 65 responses.  Everyone who took part was very positive about our village having a pub, they were also very keen to see a shop and café and maybe a part time Post Office within The Ploughshare.  Seemingly weekday evenings and Sunday lunch were the most popular times to enjoy snacks, bar meals or restaurant food at the pub, and many were keen to reinstate a BBQ night.  If there was a shop or café on site, over 70% of respondents said they would visit between once and three times a week, 62% said they would use the pub for food and drink     between once and three times a week … this is all really positive information.  Even though an initial report has been completed, if you haven’t had a chance to complete your questionnaire as yet, please take a minute to do so and drop it in to one of the collectors.  Alternatively, the link to an online version is on the ‘Save Beeston Ploughshare Pub’ facebook page.
In other news, and of vital importance, we now officially have a ‘not for profit’ company – Beeston Community Enterprises Ltd was born on 10th May.  We are still waiting on HMRC and sourcing a company who can deliver an online facility, and once all this is in place we can launch our share options (this may take longer than it sounds!).  Many in the survey said they were keen to buy shares and the share purchase option is starting at £50 (5 shares at £10 each), so we hope everyone in the village will buy a share in their pub.  It doesn’t matter if you buy 5 shares or 2,000 (maximum – £20,000), everyone only has 1 vote.
A few fund raising events / activities for your diary:-

  • On 22nd July there will be a ‘horse racing’ evening in the Beeston Village Hall.  You can sponsor (and name) a race for £25 and / or buy and name a horse for £5 each (56 horses in total).  Everyone who attends the evening can bet on any horses, there will be a hog roast (and veggie alternative) included in the ticket price and at the end of the evening to raise additional funds the horses will be auctioned off.
  • Of no set date at the moment, but probably late August / early September, there will be a clay pigeon shoot.  This will be open to all ages (including    children) and a real ‘have a go’ opportunity if you have never tried this sport before.  The aim is to get the whole village involved.

Once the bank account is up and running we will also start a ‘Beeston     Ploughshare’ lottery.  Each of the lottery numbers will be sold for £2 and the bonus ball number picked out weekly in the main national lottery will decide the winner.  The winner will receive over half the takings for the week, with the remainder going into the ‘Save the Ploughshare’ fundraising pot.
If anyone would like to hold their own fundraising event to help raise money for this campaign, please let us know, and we will be sure to shout about it on Facebook, twitter and, hopefully soon, through our website
If you would like to get in touch for any reason then please contact Henry (Chair) on 01328 701938 / Julie (Secretary) on 01328 701942 / Kim (race night + shoot) – 01328 701399 or Sara (lottery + facebook + questionnaire) on 07500 939387 / 01328 702261 or e-mail [email protected]