Freehouse marks its first year with celebrations

Susan Wilde and Heather Warren are opening Oakes Barn pub - it is named after James Oakes who used to be a wool merchant and then became a banker. ENGANL00120131113133249

Susan Wilde and Heather Warren are opening Oakes Barn pub - it is named after James Oakes who used to be a wool merchant and then became a banker. ENGANL00120131113133249

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A free house pub opened a year ago has raised just under £700 for charity with five days of birthday celebrations and community activities.

Oakes Barn in St Andrew’s Street South, Bury St Edmunds, was opened by Sue Wilde and Heather Warren with a view to providing a real ale pub and community hub.

Named after 18th century diarist, businessman and banker, James Oakes, the pub and the Bury Folk Collective which meets there, staged a series of events including mummers plays to celebrate St Edmund.

Heather said: “It’s been a fantastic year and we have been very well received and supported. We put our success down to hard work, a wonderful set of staff who bring a wide array of talents to Oakes Barn and a great customer base.” An unexpected but welcome birthday present came when Oakes Barn was named West Suffolk Camra Pub of the Month.