After Hours: Pub full of praise
January 28, 2009
Rosemary and Keith Allchin have transformed their home into a tribute of sorts to the role the American B-17 Flying Fortress bombers played in World War II and the brave men who risked their lives in those planes.
The Allchins opened The Flying Fortress pub and restaurant in 1988 by expanding their home, which sits adjacent to what was once Rougham Airfield, one of the many homes of the mighty four-engine American bombers. Part of the facility used at the pub and restaurant was actually used by the base during the war.
"We said why not turn this into a pub?" Rosemary Allchin said.
As for the name of the pub and restaurant, Keith Allchin said, "It was the most obvious choice."
The Allchins built a pub and restaurant that is inviting with its light-cream-colored walls, its bench seats and decor. There is also a banquet room for private functions.
To honor the bombers that flew from the airfield, The Flying Fortress is filled with photos of the venerable aircraft and the crews that maintained and flew the planes. Some photos show crashed B-17s, others show the birds dropping their bombs and some show the planes in formations that filled the skies over Europe. The Allchins also have a log book signed by the men who flew and worked on the base during the war or their family members who popped in.
"It is keeping it (the B-17) alive. We thought it was fitting," Rosemary Allchin said.
The couple boasts that one of the restaurant’s specialties is its carvery, where patrons can fill up on hearty portions of succulent meat. Other dishes include steaks, fish and chips and an a la carte menu with a variety of foods to please virtually any palate.
The Flying Fortress also has a wide selection of brews, including its locally brewed Flying Fortress. Guinness is popular with Americans and Aspall is a popular cider served at The Flying Fortress, Keith Allchin said.
Located a few miles outside of Bury St. Edmunds, The Flying Fortress draws in a lot of Americans, especially from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall, Rosemary Allchin said.
"We get two sorts of Americans," her husband said. "The servicemen — they are surprised (by the name of the restaurant). The children and grandchildren (of people who served at the airfield) come."
One veteran who was based at the airfield comes in every few years wearing his uniform, he added.
The Flying Fortress
Location: Mount Road, Great Barton, Bury St. Edmunds, IP31 2QU
Hours: noon to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 11 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Phone: 01284 787665