Pub’s new mascot is a steel giraffe

Landlord Steve Soar and his wife Julie outside the pub with the tin Giraffe on the roof.

Landlord Steve Soar and his wife Julie outside the pub with the tin Giraffe on the roof.

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A Heanor pub has risen head and shoulders above its neighbours by installing a 15ft tall steel giraffe on its roof.

The long-necked addition to the New Inn on Derby Road was spotted in Stapleford by landlord Steven Soar and bought for £600.

Steven, 48, who lives in Langley Mill, said: “I’ve got my eye on a gorilla and a lion too. We want a menagerie up there.”

“Africa comes to Tag Hill!” commented pub regular Brian Smalley, on the sight.

The giraffe has been a hit with local children and still makes motorists slow down and do a double-take.

Steven’s wife Julie said: “I must admit I love it. It immediately made me smile. It makes cars slow down and it makes people smile. That’s what it’s there for!”

Steve, a former mechanic, bought the pub four years ago in a handshake deal over a few drinks and decided the alloy animal would help set the pub apart.

Steven had planned to install the giraffe in the pub’s back garden but then wrestled the beast on to the roof with the help of a pal.

Since taking over the pub the couple have spent £3,000 making over the back garden.

They have put in a duck pond, whose inhabitants are proving popular with the children of nearby Corfield Infants School.

Steven is also hoping a local school or street artist will help brighten up the pub’s back wall with an eye-catching design.

Youngsters from nearby Corfield are found feeding the ducks at playtime.

Julie added: “It’s an old-fashioned pub and that’s why we took it over. We want to keep it as it was. I don’t want it turned into a fun pub or demolished. Once pubs go they stay gone.”

The couple estimate at least eight pubs have been closed in the area in five years.

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