After an incredible 25 years behind the bar at The Kingsdown Inn, Swindon, stalwart landlords John and Liz Mcgregor are taking well-earned retirement.
Arkell’s Brewery chairman, James Arkell, paid tribute to the long-serving couple. “John and Liz have been fantastic landlords. On the other side of the road from the brewery, the pub is literally a stone’s throw away from us – very convenient for extra beer deliveries during the week, but as yet there’s no secret tunnel from the brewery to the pub.”
Liz and John were head-hunted by Arkell’s Brewery in 1991 after they were spotted running The Queensfield pub in Swindon, which was closed by Enterprise Inns in 2013 and later demolished to make way for housing.
John and Liz hail from London. John grew up in Chelsea and trained as a chef and Liz was brought up on the Old Kent Road. A career in the licensed trade was an accident, according to John. “I accepted a job as a relief manager and that was it, a life-changing career. What Liz and I loved about the business was that we could work alongside each other, and bring our children up together,” he added. The couple’s first move out of London was to The Rising Sun at Newbury, before moving to The Queensfield and then the Arkell’s-owned Kingsdown.
Retirement might beckon for the couple, but John has no intention of abandoning the pub he’s looked after for two decades, and the couple will continue to live close by in Stratton. “I’ll continue playing for the Kingsdown pool team,” he said. “Running a pub is a great social life and I know I’ll miss some aspects of it.”
The new landlord, Tom Povey, takes over from John and Liz on Saturday.
James Arkell added: “We wish John and Liz a happy and well-deserved retirement and look forward to a new chapter in the Kingsdown’s long history with a new landlord behind the bar.”