Bury St Edmunds: Weekend of celebrations to mark ‘end of an era’ at family-run pub
The family who have run the Queens Head in Bury St Edmunds for more than 27 years have organised a weekend of celebrations to mark the end of an era.
Landlady Jan Rutherford, who owns the family business in Churchgate Street, has sold the pub to a couple, who she said planned to run it along the same lines.
Ms Rutherford, who is one of three generations of her family who work at the Queens, said a fire at the pub last year was the reason she had decided to sell up.
She said: “It’s been really, really hard. Seeing the place on fire, it’s really physically and mentally affected all my family and financially it just crippled us.
“The insurance company didn’t pay out. It’s been a very, very hard struggle to build our business back up.”
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She said the pub would be handed over to Tracey Cooke and Christopher Murphy, who ran the Hole in the Wall in Colchester, early next week.
Ms Rutherford said: “It will still be run as an independent pub; home-cooked food, real ales, entertainment. The same as what it was, but new blood, new energy.”
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The 57-year-old will be making a start on her “bucket list” in her retirement, with a trip to the wine regions in France and northern Spain, as well as Greece and Italy, this summer, followed by Vietnam and Thailand in the winter.
She also plans to spend more time in Middlesbrough, where she originally hails from, with her parents.
“I have a lot of friends throughout the world,” she said.
“I’m going to spend time with people I care about.”
This weekend will be the family’s last weekend running the Queens, and there are celebrations starting tonight to mark the occasion.
The pub will be open to the public as usual this weekend, with an event for former and current staff and friends, including a finger buffet and drinks, tonight.
Tomorrow, a band made up of US Air Force personnel will be performing – and will be bringing along their friends in the Forces to say goodbye – and on Sunday there will be a barbecue in the afternoon.