Two friends take a note from historical community spirit with launch of new real ale pub in Bury St Edmunds

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.
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.
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Two friends will fulfil a long held ambition when they open a new real ale pub in Bury St Edmunds - and aim to emulate the community spirit of one the town’s leading historical faces.

Susan Wilde and Heather Warren will launch free house Oakes Barn, in St Andrew’s Street South, on Thursday November 21 from 9am, with real ales, premium lagers, wines and locally sourced foods plus a room for use by community groups and businesses.

The pub’s name showcases its historical links with yarn merchant and banker James Oakes, who built the original building as a wool combing shed. Its logo also includes an oak tree, which he featured on his bank notes and is on the sign outside Lloyds Bank - once the Oakes Bevan & Co Bank.

The move is a ‘complete change of direction’ for the pair. Mrs Wilde worked in law and later supported people with learning difficulties and Mrs Warren was a nurse at West Suffolk Hospital.

Mrs Wilde said: “It’s been an ongoing ambition. We want the feel to be a traditional pub with traditional values with a community spirit with good produce and to support local businesses.” They would like to hear from Mr Oakes’ relatives. Email oakesbarn@gmail.com