November 23rd 1976 - November 1977
Taken 23rd November 1976
Ray Lince (centre) with Duoro Potter (Right) & John Sayer (Left)
Following the closure of the then Watneys pub on 27th May 1970, Arthur & Margaret Bird, retired, and the Gardeners Arms became a charity shop for a number of years. By 1976, the Freehold lease became available, and was taken on by Duoro Potter, (an already established publican around Norwich city centre), and his business partner Ray Lince.
Initially, Duoro Potter, was known to Ray 'vaguely'. Ray worked at the Inland Revenue, and also at the wages Department, of Jarrolds Printing, when he was approached to set up a 'proper' payroll system for the ever expanding group of Norwich City Centre pubs that Duoro had established. There friendship developed, to the extent that when a new venture at the Gardeners Arms, (Murderers) came about, a partnership was offered, to which, Ray accepted.
Moving to Mariners Lane, close to Argyle Street, for much of his formative years, Ray eventually lived on South Park Avenue, before getting married.
Ray's first experience of working behind a busy bar, was at Carrow Road, at Norwich City's, football ground. After meeting Duoro Potter, Ray initially worked at his pub, the Pig & Whistle, subsequently moving onto some of his other pubs across Norwich
The Constitution, 140, Constitution Hill, Norwich, was the last pub Ray worked in. However, he remained in the Licenced trade, working for the local brewer, Woodfordes, as a part-time sales representative in London.
The Gardeners Arms had been closed for a number of years prior to Ray & Douro spending £20,000 on extensively renovating the entire premises. Since as early as 1910, the pub had unofficially acquired the gruesome nickname of 'The Murderers' and tentative enquiries were made in early 1976, to Norwich City Hall, in order to change the name of the pub officially. Unfortunately, the council were un-moved, deciding to retain the traditional name of the pub. However, undettered, it was Ray who arranged that one side of the pubs new swing sign depicted 'The Murderers' whilst the other side showed 'The Gardeners Arms' . In March 1976, Duoro Potter said, "I'm not bothered. It will probably get a nick-name like The Murderers anyway"
The First 'Murderers' Sign from 1976
Ray told us that, the photograph above was taken on the 'Grand Opening' of the pub, just prior to the three smartly dressed fellows leaving for a boxing evening at St. Andrews Hall
. As they were about to walk out of the door, Ray was asked to change the Guinness, which he duly did. Unfortunately, the keg, 'exploded' showering Ray, his tuxedo, and white shirt in Guinness!
Ray also told us that, 'The pub was re-opened on November 23rd 1976. The leaseholders being Douro Potter and Ray Lince. The owners of the property being the Anguishes Educational Foundation. It is understood the aim of the foundation was to fund the education for children of poor families.
The pubs better known managers in the 70's were Barbara Howard and Linda Rudd (Lulu). Barbara now lives in Mojacar, Southern Spain with Viv Busby, an ex Norwich City footballer.
Lulu married Keith Honeywood and they live in Brighton with their son and daughter.
The pub was extremely successful from the very beginning and was extended in 1977 by creating a rear patio, which proved very popular in the warmer months'
Ray Lince - April 2014