Beccles Lido - Geldeston Locks
Easter - October (Charters available)
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THE LOCKS INN, PAST AND PRESENT
The origins of the Locks Inn at Geldeston are inextricably linked to the historic navigations of the River Waveney. The navigation was a private one, part of a series of three, owned throughout the 16th to 18th Centuries largely by a series of merchants in coal, grain and malt, in use until 1934. The navigation is much older though, an Act of Parliament in 1670 reinstating it as a private navigation. Wherries and other craft hauled goods between the ports of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, through the lock, to Bungay and its thriving brewing and malting industries.
Still far out on the marshes of the river valley, remote from all mains services, the Locks Inn began life as a mill-keeper’s cottage, later being used by the lockkeeper. Said to have been built in the 1560’s, and modernised in 1666, it was granted a public house license in the 17th Century.
In these bawdy times, as well as locals tramping across the marsh footpaths and trade from river traffic, with differing constabulary on either side of the county border running through the lock, it was a haven for cross border smuggling and illegal prize-fighting. Though in guidebooks as a local beauty spot for the last 150 years, the Locks became one of the many destinations for the booming Broads leisure industry from the 1930’s. Scenes from around the Locks throughout the centuries can be found in prints and photographs on the pub walls. The middle of the 20th Century brought famous long-standing publicans such as the inimitable and bizarre eccentricity of Susan Ellis and the friendly Walter Coe, renown for attracting customers as trade dropped in the winter with tales of ghosts spotted. Mind you, the current residents will testify to the visits of benign presences that keep a watchful eye over the running of the pub.
Tragically the end of the 20th Century brought a crash in trade, reputation and several years of closure. Happily the pub is know under the care of Green Jack brewery interests, and with improved road access attracts walkers, boaters, canoeists, anglers, birdwatchers and all walks of life from the countryside community, as well as visitors from across the county, country and indeed the world to enjoy the pub and the outstanding natural beauty of the Broads National Park.
On offer in the unspoilt original pub, huge riverside garden and adjoining games/function/dining room is a movable feast of award winning ales, live music and other entertainment, real pub food, pub games, unique atmosphere, roaring fire and always a warm welcome.
Information courtesy Geldeston Locks Inn.