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News article  2006-08-04 - Coaching inn's restoration is next project

The Sharps' next project is the restoration of the historic Norfolk Arms on Ringinglow Road. The couple and two friends bought the pub two years ago and work is well underway to restore it to its coaching inn origins and to create a 14-bedroom hotel and restaurant.

"Nigel and a friend of ours called David Cuthbertson wanted to buy the place for years but the brewery kept saying no," said Elaine. "They kept persevering and eventually the brewery said they would sell. We want to take the pub back to an old coaching inn. We want to keep the character and atmosphere of the old place. "We want it to be a warm and welcoming village pub but with a good quality restaurant attached and comfortable bedrooms with good facilities."

The project should be completed by October, and although it has taken much longer to materialise than they expected, Elaine is convinced they were right to take it on.

"It's been a bit of a slog getting it through planning and it's taken longer than we thought. But you have to go for things in this life, no-one will give you anything. If you have a dream you have to make it happen. I now try to live every day like it's my last, this is not a dress rehearsal."

Elaine takes parties of children and other visitors round her farm and gives talks to schools, clubs and other groups. She is even making an impact on the after dinner circuit.

"I tell people about the llamas and alpacas and about how I came to be so involved, most are very interested."

Article by Martin Smith. Originally appeared in the Sheffield Star, 4/8/2006