A ‘proper’ pub where customers enjoy quality beer and conversation gets drinkers’ vote
- Credit: MARIAM GHAEMI
A Bury St Edmunds drinking establishment that is unashamedly traditional has been crowned ‘Suffolk Pub of the Year’ by CAMRA.
The Rose and Crown in Westgate Street has won the title in the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) competition after impressing members.
Liz and Tony Fayers, who have run the pub for 34 years, said they were "chuffed", adding being chosen by the members meant the most.
Mrs Fayers, 71, said: "The fact that local CAMRA members voted for us in the first place was the most special part of this - that's the beer drinkers of the area. That's more valuable than anything."
Chris Hall, West Suffolk CAMRA chairman, said the Rose and Crown stood out as a traditional pub, as opposed to a modern food-led pub, that was bucking the trend with its success story.
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"Certainly, the quality of the beer is outstanding, which we would hope for, and they keep the beer really well. Tony and Liz are really friendly and chatty with all of the customers."
Mr Fayers, 66, said a key part of their role was being a sympathetic ear for their customers, adding: "If anyone has got a problem they go and have a chat with Liz."
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She added: "I always say we are like Samaritans, marriage councillors, financial advisors, health advisors and everything in between."
Mr Fayers said it was a place people could have a conversation and also enjoy traditional pub games, such as darts and dominoes. This Greene King pub has quiet music playing in the background and a lunch menu.
The couple took it on from Mrs Fayers' parents John and Win Ward, who ran the pub for 10 years from 1975.
Mrs Fayers said: "We still try to hold up all of the traditions of the local pub. We are not one specific thing. People say 'it's like going back in time' and it is. We are not ashamed of that - it is what it is."
Tom Carter, a regular customer who lives nearby, said he popped in on Saturday mornings to do the crossword and enjoy a pint of beer.
"It's a very fine, proper traditional pub," he added.
The Rose and Crown became a public house - as opposed to a beer house that just produced and sold beer - in 1939. The building dates to the late 1500s and early 1600s.
Nigel Smith, editor of the Last Orders CAMRA magazine, congratulated Mr and Mrs Fayers on Facebook.
He said: "They have previously been presented by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) with a trophy for being the town's best community pub of the year (in 2016) and certificates for both their tremendous long service and earlier successes in CAMRA's pub of the year competition. Now they have won the overall Suffolk pub of the year in this year's competition."
They are now vying for the regional title.