The Times Awards 2021: Pub Landlord of the Year

The Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford receiving his Times award from chief reporter Tom Chapman

The Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford receiving his Times award from chief reporter Tom Chapman - Credit: Archant

The Pub Landlord of the Year in the Times Awards 2021 is Paul Sandford of the Railway Tavern in Dereham.

Like dozens of other pub owners and managers across the area, Mr Sandford has had to negotiate another difficult year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

But amid uncertain times, he has shown his usual grit to launch a number of fundraising campaigns for local people in desperate need of support. 

Logan Gostling, who was among the England supporters who watched the national team cruise to victory

Thousands was raised for Logan Gostling at the Railway Tavern during Euro 2020 - Credit: Sydney McGrath

Among them was Logan Gostling, a youngster from Mattishall in need of selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and radiotherapy rehabilitation.

Around £18,000 was raised for him during Euro 2020.

Accepting the award, Mr Sandford dedicated it to all those in the industry who have endured a tough 12 months. 

"It’s absolutely fantastic given the year publicans have had, but because of that I’d like to accept this award for all the publicans," he said.

The Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford with his Pub Landlord of the Year award

The Railway Tavern landlord Paul Sandford with his Pub Landlord of the Year award - Credit: Archant

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“It’s for everyone, not just me. It’s a nice accolade to have but we are going through some tough times.

“It’s been like a rollercoaster, really. With the football chucked in the middle of it, that sort of glossed over a few cracks. Then it was like turning the tap off.

“Fundraising for Logan was a real highlight. Again, that has been tough this year in terms of fundraising, but we’ve still managed to raise around £30,000 for local causes which has been great.”