Take a step back in the Haven Bridge pub's history

The Haven Bridge in 1970.

The Haven Bridge in 1970. The old signage for Whitbread Tankard can be seen. - Credit: Norfolkpubs.co.uk

It was a week ago today since a devastating fire broke out at a landmark pub in Great Yarmouth.

Scaffolding and sheets have surrounded the former Haven Bridge pub since the blaze gutted the building on the night of March 23.

Great Yarmouth Haven Bridge fire

A large fire ripped through the roof of a vacant Haven Bridge pub in Great Yarmouth Wednesday evening - Credit: Roman Stevie Henderson

Investigations into the cause of the blaze are underway, although the fire service has been unable to gain access to it.

The site of the former Haven Bridge pub on Southtown Road has been host to several establishments since the mid-1800s. 

In 1840, the site was home to a pub called the Queen's Arms. 

Drone images of Haven Bridge pub fire

The charred remains of a pub roof destroyed by fire have been revealed in a series of pictures taken by drone. - Credit: Big Sky Photo

A new building was put in its place in 1875 when landlord Albert Cubitt opened the Bridge Hotel.

In 1886, a fire broke out in one of the bedrooms, but Mr Cubitt and his staff were able to control the flames. Only the contents of the room were destroyed.

Great Yarmouth - StreetsImprovements on the corner of Southtown Road and Bridge RoadOn the r

The corner of Southtown Road in 1962. In the distance to the left is the Haven Bridge pub. - Credit: Archant Archive

Throughout the 1900s, the building had been altered back to being a pub and was under the charge of more than 18 landlords.

By 1931, the pub was operating under the name of the Haven Bridge Tavern following a rebuild.

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After the Second World War, the tavern's first floor became a Matthes restaurant for several years.

By 1966, the Birds Eye Social Club was based on the first floor until the closure of the factory on South Denes in 1986.

During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the pub went under the names The Bridge, Badgers, La Bambas and The Big Apple and was home to many live music acts.

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Police vehicle checks at Cobholm, Great Yarmouth
In the backgro

Police vehicle checks at Cobholm in 1965. The entrance to the Haven Bridge pub is on the right. - Credit: Archant Archive

The pub was renamed Jacks in 2004 and the venue was part of the town's live music scene.

In 2010, the public house was renamed The Haven Bridge and in 2015, a private owner had plans to convert the building - then renamed The Social - into a residency for artists. By that time, the front of the former pub was adorned in sky blue and neon artwork.

The Haven Bridge pub when it was known as The Social and was decorated in sky blue paint and bubbles.

The Haven Bridge pub in 2016 - then known as The Social - was distinctive for its sky blue and neon frontage. - Credit: Google

By June 2017, the pub was advertised for let or sale. 

In 2020, Martin Bennington - the former landlord of The Tramway in Gorleston – had taken over the Haven Bridge pub with hopes to turn it into a guest house. At the time, Mr Bennington said: “It has huge potential.”

Haven Bridge pub

The Haven Bridge pub on Southtown Road went up in flames on Wednesday. - Credit: James Weeds