For only the third time in its 13-year existence, The Tawny Owl pub at Taw Hill, which first opened on 23 November 2003, has welcomed new landlords.
Dan Brackenbury and his fiancée Tracey Heath have taken over behind the bar of the Arkell’s-owned pub.
Dan’s face will be familiar to Arkell’s customers at The Sun, Coate Water, which he ran for almost a year before moving to the larger Tawny Owl. Tracey’s face, however, will be much more familiar to the hundreds of children at Haydon End Primary School where she spent eight years as the school’s office administrator.
Dan joined Arkell’s last year to run The Sun, but when the North Swindon hostelry became vacant, it was too good a chance to miss. “You don’t often get opportunities like the Tawny Owl, so I had to seize the moment, but I didn’t want to do it alone,” he said. “I am thrilled that Tracey has agreed to work alongside me. I just hope she doesn’t miss the children at Haydon End too much, but this is a lovely community pub so I hope they’ll come and see us with their families.”
Between them Dan and Tracey have five children, aged from 11 to 18 years. In fact, Tracey’s 18-year old son, Ben, works at the pub and helped persuade them to take the Tawny Owl on.
Brewery managing director, George Arkell, said: “The Tawny Owl opened in 2003 thanks to the support and goodwill of the local community, which fought hard alongside us for a community amenity rather than more houses, as the planners first suggested. As a result we made sure that we built more than a pub, creating a children’s play area, plenty of parking and outside space for our customers. Having Dan and Tracey running the pub is fantastic. When they’ve settled in they’re planning a range of family-friendly events – which we’re already looking forward to.”