Landmark pub re-opens its doors with a new landlady and regular of 22 years at the helm
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One of Peterborough’s most revered pubs has re-opened with a new landlady at the helm.
The Palmerston Arms, on Oundle Road, opened its doors on Saturday, July 1 with new business operator Gwyn Roberts – welcoming punters in at 12:30pm on the dot.
The iconic boozer, which counts former mayor Alan Dowson among its loyal patrons, has been closed for two weeks while the hallowed drinking place enjoyed a modest “spruce up.”
Stuart Bateman, managing director of Batemans Brewery – the company which owns the pub – described the Palmerston Arms as “a cracking cask ale community pub” when he announced the brewery was looking for someone to take over the business back in March.
He was overwhelmed by the amount of interest the pub garnered from interested parties. “We have had more applications to take over the business at the Palmerston Arms than any other pub in recent memory,” he noted.
So what made new landlady, Gwyn apply?
“I’ve been drinking here for the past 22 years,” she told the Peterborough Telegraph, “so when the previous landlord left through ill-health, it just seemed like a prime opportunity to move into a whole new area.”
The former teaching assistant and pupil behavioural manager acknowledges she will have a lot to learn.
“I’ve worked behind the bar before,” she said, “but I’ve never actually run a pub before.”
Gwyn’s promise of maintaining “business as usual” has gone down well with the pub’s regulars.
“The response has been absolutely brilliant,“ she says: “They all know me, plus we’ve got the same bar staff so they know the quality will be spot on.”
Mayor Nick Sandford was scheduled to help Gwyn officially reopen the pub on Saturday lunchtime. Unfortunately, illness forced him to pull out.
Thankfully, former mayor Councillor Alan Dowson – one of the pub’s most devoted regulars – was on hand to present Gwyn with her tenancy with a degree of fanfare.
Gwyn’s assured tenancy means she can look to the future with confidence.
“I think the renewal point is something like ten years,” she said, “so I’m looking long-term.”
“I’ll spend the next ten years rebuilding the business,” she muses, before adding, “and then I can retire.”