17-year-old in bid to buy closed down Ilford pub The Bell

17-year-old Reiss Matto wants to buy The Bell pub and reopen it for the community

17-year-old Reiss Matto wants to buy The Bell pub and reopen it for the community - Credit: Archant

A teenager has decided to take drastic action to stop a pub being lost to the community – he is trying to buy it.

Reiss Matto, 17, wants to ensure The Bell, in Ley Street, Ilford, remains a pub after watching three others close down in the area.


He has already put in one bid for it which was rejected, but said he remains hopeful he will succeed in bringing the boarded up pub back to life.

Reiss, of Carswell Close, South Woodford, said: “I know that I’m only 17 but I really want to put something back into the community. If that pub gets lost it’s such a big thing – it’s got such potential.”

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He is being backed in his ambition by his dad who runs a property development company and helped Reiss put in his bit of £730,000 plus VAT about two months ago.

Reiss said: “We don’t own any pubs but we used to be really involved with The Bell and were part of the community there. I really wanted to keep it as a pub it’s the only one left in the area.”

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The Joker in Seven Kings, the Cauliflower in Ilford and The Lord Napier in Goodmayes all shut this year.

“I’ve got lots of memories from there,” Reiss said. “I got together with a few people who used to drink together there and they thought it was a really good idea to get it back. It got a bit run-down which was such a shame.”

Although his original offer was rejected, Reiss remains hopeful that he will be able to buy the pub.

He thought about putting in a joint bid with other members of the community to make it a co-operative pub but said that it would be too much money to raise.

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