Community ‘disappointed’ after a Great Dunmow pub loses its historic name

The Star in Great Dunmow between 1905-1910.

The Star in Great Dunmow between 1905-1910. - Credit: Archant

A revamp of a Great Dunmow pub has caused upset across the town as the community feel part of its history has been lost.

Town councillors and residents have taken a very dim view to The Starr, on Star Lane, being renamed Fulton’s Chop House, in a bid to bring it back to its “former glory” as the place to eat and drink in the town.

The pub, part of the Fulton’s Group, is believed to date back to the early 1900s. It has featured in many historic photographs of the town and has been described as the “centre piece” of Market Place.

But owners have outraged members of the community by replacing the iconic signs outside in a bid to breathe life back into the venue.

Even though Great Dunmow town councillor David Beedle agreed something needed to be done to rejuvenate the pub, he does not think changing the name was the right decision.

He said: “It is The Starr on Star Lane. It is very disappointing as it is an icon of Dunmow. The owners needed to do something but it is the centre piece of Market Place.”

Resident Danny Gallagher, who lives on High Meadow, said: “The Starr is a landmark in Dunmow and it appears in every ancient photograph. So for someone to come along and change it, that needs a lot of consideration.”

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Cllr Phil Milne, chairman of Great Dunmow Town council’s planning committee, suggested the changes made to the signage may have breached planning regulations and said it was a “great shame”.

“It has been The Starr for as long as I have been here and a long time before then,” he added. “It is part of our history.”

Simon Silvester, chairman and chef director of Fulton’s Restaurants, said: “The aim of The Starr becoming part of the Fulton’s Group, is to return it to its former glory and reputation as being the place to eat and drink in Great Dunmow. It is in essence still The Starr but is now part of a group, being Fulton’s. We are very mindful of its place in Great Dunmow’s history and have spent considerable time and effort over the last two years ensuring that this is at the forefront of our minds whenever we have decorated or upgraded the building.”