Final Update From The Owners

I have been putting together an update since December 2021, but events have somewhat conspired against me - followers of social media probably know to what I’m alluding. You may have seen Kindall and Phil’s update in the Ewhurst and Ellen’s Green Church Magazine, which I hope gives you an idea of the trials and tribulations renovating the Bulls Head Inn (BHI) has wrought on us. The good news is we are getting very close, and I suspect that from Christine and I, this will be our last update as we hand over the baton to your Bulls Head proprietors - Phil and Kindall for all the news and updates on the BHI. And once and for all, we can put to bed my mithering (wonderful northern term) on the build progress and costs overruns. One of the challenges of renovating the local pub is the pavement, for Christine and I have to run a bit of a gauntlet from car to site, else we get accosted for updates - which in Christine's case she somehow manages to stretch out to a good 20 mins on each occasion! Seriously, we appreciate all the interest and let’s face it, the pub is a cornerstone of the community, both physically and metaphorically. So, do stop and ask us, though if you can limit the conversation - especially in Christine’s case, to less than 10mins - I, atop a ladder waiting for some screws to arrive, would appreciate it! So, how is our progress faring? I could write you a rather complex list including the unexpected cost of replacing all the chimney pots, re-leading a large part of the roof, new foul drainage, new storm water pipes, gas supply and so on and so on. But I won’t - I’ll look to the positives! The kitchen is almost complete; we will be installing equipment shortly, and eventually the final set of exterior doors arrived, including the 3 replacements for the original front entrance doors. We’ve taken a lot of care to match these as close to the originals as possible, but compliant to modern regulations. The old ones were a breeze to remove; they were so rotten that it was a bit of a surprise that they were still in place. Landscaping and ground works are starting, delayed many, many weeks due to all sorts of reasons; you may have noticed the removal of the Cypress trees recently. Unfortunately, as we lost parking due to the development of the 5 houses, we have been compelled to implement the planning conditions from that original application that approved the development on the pub garden. After we purchased the pub from the developers it became clear from Surrey Highways this was non-negotiable and so the car park extension had to be built. I doubt that it’s much consolation but we had an arborist report who noted the most northern eastern tree was unstable and required “immediate” removal and the other was severely scarred. (from historical limbs breaking off) I can also assure you that the trees were checked for nesting birds and given the all clear. We were hoping to deliver a surprise of what’s in store for the landscaping to the front of the pub, but there have been comments on what’s going on and some concerns to the Parish Council, so to allay fears, here is what’s happening: The whole frontage boundary is to be “wrapped” in estate fencing and hornbeam hedging. The hedging will grow through the fencing and we should over time have a lovely native hedge. Soon, we hope, the developers of the 5 houses will remove their temporary fencing between us and implement what was agreed in planning, then we can finish our works up to that boundary and then lay that part of the hornbeam - fingers crossed! All the landscaping is accessible friendly and all entrances to the pub are step free. This has been a bit of a challenge in laying out as there is a surprising fall of the ground levels to the rear of the building. I’ve mentioned this before, but the building is being run entirely on modern heat pump technology - for the geeks amongst you (I raise my hand) as we extract hot air from inside the pub through the air conditioning system, we use this to heat the three 250 litre water storage tanks sited in the roof space of the new kitchen block. So as you all get rather excited during the regular pub quiz, you can relax knowing your energies are providing a hot shower for the hotel guests in the morning ;-). Coupled to our aircon system is an HEPA ("high efficiency particulate air [filter]") air filtration and heat recovery system. This filters and shifts the air more frequently than having half the windows open (it also helps keep the dusting down), so if any facility can offer a clean air environment in our new “times”, the Bulls Head is it! “So what beer you doing?” is one of the frequent questions we get asked - I won’t comment on the gender of the persons who ask this question, but to all the men in Ewhurst, I can tell you that we are 100% a free house and will have a number of real ales on tap and a good selection of constantly revolving guest beers - did I hear someone say Old Peculier? I was on-site recently with a contractor who was quoting for painting the pub - (there is a bit of a thread on this elsewhere) and he said “my God, the work you’ve put into this - and the quality” it was a salutary moment, I can tell you. I do feel at times that everything has fought us to bring the Bulls Head back to the community. But the light at the end of that bl**dy long tunnel is now clearly in sight and we look forward to opening the doors to Ewhurst and surrounding areas soon. Please remember, the pub is part of the community. A village without a pub, village shop and village school is just a bunch of houses. Help us mould the “Bull” into your village pub and Phil and Kindall will do everything to deliver a viable, friendly local hostelry! Finally, as Christine and I sign off from these updates, thank you to the whole community who have supported us - it’s been hugely appreciated during some quite trying times. I want to thank friends and family who have given selflessly their time, our build crew who have been tremendous, that’s Noel (who so many of you now know); Team Stefan, ACD projects, the most amazing HVAC crew (a special call out to Jamie), J&N Joinery, Tommy and team - the electricians, special note to Jason who we keep putting things on a high shelf (private joke), Steve (Leaky) the plumber who’s brilliant if he ever stops talking, Albert and crew, our structural team who have been amazing (and hard to pin down as they are in such demand - oh and have the only broom), Don the master craftsmen (his words) who has hand cut all the roofing, Mark, our roofing tiler, who is a true craftsman but impossible to tie down and is more off site than (especially if it’s raining) on - and Colin and Dean of Evolution Design and Build; our prime contractors. There are so many other people who have become involved in this project - you know who you are and don’t worry; we’re sorting something out to acknowledge your involvement - but a final call out to Mike (aka Charles) Turner, who’s been a champion of what we’ve been trying to achieve. And - if you will allow me, my last bit of indulgence, Christine - thank you for your endless support on this bonkers adventure I dragged you into! So when? Mid May (hopefully). Best wishes Christine and Stuart


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