Neil and Carole Martin had not run a pub before taking over the Rose and Crown (Wethereds), Histon, nearly three years ago. Now, they are amongst the most popular and successful licencees in the area.
Neil was a police sergeant and keen rugby player prior to taking the pub and Carole was a secretary. Outside of the pub, they both profess to having very little interests - "I live for the pub" says Carole, "my main interest in life is keeping the customers satisfied". The Martins work in their pub seven days a week!
Neil is a keen real ale man, and not long after taking the pub he managed to obtain Wethereds "through the back-door method" from the brewery. Small wonder the lunchtime trade is so good, because to complement the real ale is real food. Carole cooks most of the food, which is served at both lunchtime and in the evening. So between them they are ideally suited to their occupation.
The Rose and Crown was built about 450 years ago as a pub, whilst the building next door was a Methodist Chapel! (It is now the saloon bar!) In recent years the pub was a Phillips of Royston pub, until being taken over by Flowers, who in turn were taken over by Whitbreads. Like most old pubs, this very attractive place, has a ghost - but it's a good one according to Carole!
One evening whilst Neil was serving a customer, he noticed a man in the other bar. "Won't be a minute sir" said Neil, but before he could finish pulling the pint the man had disappeared without even the noise of a door closing! "He was dressed in an old fashioned grey suit and had a grey beard" says Neil. [Could it have been Trevor Littlechild? - Ed.]
Recently, the Martins were asked to produce their pension book for the brewery, but couldn't find it anywhere. About a week later they heard Kimba, their dog, growling, and went down stairs to investigate. There they found the pension book on top or their desk opened at the appropriate page!