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Former Peckover House catering boss now at Marshland St James village hall

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Running the tea rooms at Marshland St James village hall will be quite a change from catering for visitors at historic Peckover House, but Sue Horsley-Porter can’t wait to start her new role.

She has been appointed as supervisor and will meet her first customers when the hall opens for its first post-lockdown farmers’ market on Sunday.

She said: “It is all very exciting and I have lots of ideas for the tea rooms. The hall facilities are amazing and it will be fantastic to be working again.”

Sue Horsley-Porter at Marshland Hall. (46237711)
Sue Horsley-Porter at Marshland Hall. (46237711)

Sue’s new job will be a far cry from her role for well over 20 years working for the National Trust. She started as a general catering assistant, working at Peckover House at Wisbech and for a time at Oxburgh Hall.

“I worked at Peckover House on and off for 23 to 24 years and eventually became functions and catering manager.

“Last year the role changed to retail and catering supervisor but I was furloughed when National Trust properties closed in the lockdown and was made redundant at the end of the season.

“It was my second home. My wedding reception was held there and we had several family celebrations there.

“With no hospitality businesses open, there were no openings. But this opportunity has come along and I can’t wait to get started.

“I have lots of ideas. Maybe lunch days for the elderly, picnics for the children but what I need to know is what the villagers would like.

“I will be here for the farmers’ market so perhaps people can come and talk to me or maybe we can hand out feedback cards.”

Kat Whitmore, the hall events co-ordinator, said they were delighted to have Sue on board with her experience and knowledge.

“We have run the team rooms for several years but we are amateurs and we did our best until we had to close, of course. Sue will help to make it a success.”

She added that this will be the first farmers market since lockdown and they are expecting all of the regulars to be there including cider, jams, butchers, loads of other local products and the popular crafts stalls.

It will be open from 10am to 2pm.

The tea rooms are then expected to re-open on limited days each week from early May.

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