The Railway Arms - previously on Platform 1 at Downham Market Railway Station
We were a multi award winning 'micropub' & cafe located on Platform One at Downham Market Railway Station in Norfolk.
We sadly closed our doors for the last time on Saturday 22nd October following difficult negotiations with our Landlord and their agents (GTR and TPT respectively) concerning the renewal of the Lease - having been unable to agree mutally acceptable terms.
Subsequently we have continued to work hard with GTR to find a way forward to enable us to return to trade at the Station premises but we have been unable to resolve some fundamental issues to the satisfaction of all parties and as of today (12th November 2016) have resolved that we must draw a line to allow all concerned to move forward to new opportunities.
Despite this conclusion, we gratefully acknowledge the hard work that certain individuals at GTR have put in to those negotiations. The failure of the negotiations is down to genuine differences of opinion as to what would reflect a realistic increase in rent along with other related matters.
Somewhat ironically we will receive a final award from CAMRA at around 7.30/8pm on Friday 18th November 2016 - that of being one of the 4 Finalists in the 2016 National Cider Pub of the Year competition.
Since we are closed at Downham Market Railway Station, our good friends Ian and Abbie at the award winning community owned pub - The Kings Arms in Shouldham - have very kindly offered to host the event for us - for which we are very grateful.
If you are reading this press release (via our web-page at www.railway-arms.co.uk or otherwise) on or before Friday 18th November 2016, please feel free to join us at The Kings Arms for what promises to be a good evening in an award winning and much cherished pub in a beautiful Norfolk village.
Finally it serves to say a heartfelt goodbye to our customers, our staff (Jill, who has worked at the Station for 14 years(!) and James), our suppliers and our supporters. It has been a pleasure to know and to serve you, an honour to work with you and more than a little humbling to have known that our little micropub and cafe has meant so much to so many people - and we have made many friends.
Thank you for all the wonderful things many of you have said about The Railway Arms, both in the days and weeks since we have closed, but also over the past 7 years.
Having put our heart and soul into trying to create something a little special in our corner of West Norfolk at The Railway Arms, your words and thoughts have meant much to us and we thank you for taking the time to express them.
PS - for those of you who know that James (who helped run the bar and worked in the cafe) is a very talented guitarist, please keep in touch with his latest music by following the band that he plays in - 'Exist Immortal'. As at early November 2016, the band have just released their latest album ('Breathe' out from 28th October 2016 on Primordial Records) and have recently released a number of videos from that album (James Hewitt is the one with the short hair!). We wish James and the band the very best of good fortune with their careers. Whether it's your sort of music or otherwise, it is clear that they are hugely talented and deserve every success. It has been a privilege to have been able to offer James a little support over the past 18 months or so to enable him to play and write his music.
Ian, Lesley and Callum Pinches
Over the years The Railway Arms at Downham Market Railway Station has been featured as follows;
We were listed in the 2011, '12, '13, '14, '15 & '16 editions of CAMRA's 'The Good Beer Guide'
The cider wasn't too bad either - we were honoured (& somewhat humbled) to have been voted by CAMRA as follows;
2012 - 3rd place in the East Anglian Regional Cider Pub of the Year competition
2113 - winners of the West Norfolk Branch, Norfolk County, East Anglian Region and National Cider Pub of the Year competition
2014 - winners of the West Norfolk Branch, Norfolk County, East Anglian Region Cider Pub of the Year competition - and one of 4 Finalists in the National competition
2015 - winners of the West Norfolk Branch, Norfolk County and East Anglian Region Cider Pub of the Year competition
2016 - winners of the West Norfolk Branch, Norfolk County, East Anglian Region Cider Pub of the year competition - and one of 4 Finalists in the National competition
In January 2011 we were pleased to be featured on TV in 'Great Railway Journeys of Britain' presented by Michael Portillo.
We have also been featured with a 6 page full colour article in The World of Interiors magazine (May 2014 edition - are we the only pub to have done so?) and in the book Unusual Railway Pubs - as well as in numerous articles in both the local and national press - for example The Daily Telegraph in the Summer of 2015.
In 2016 The Railway Arms was awarded Community Asset status by the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Nofolk.
It' s been said one or two times before, but, 'it could only ever have happened in The Railway Arms.....!'