ALE Spring 2000 No. 297

Pub News

The Black Bull, Longstanton, is back. After a period of closure and a further period open but looking very sorry for itself, new signs went up in December and a new licensee (Janice) took up the reins - or should that be "took the bull by the horns"?! The pub is now a free house owned by County Estates. Janice used to run a wine bar in Swiss Cottage but more recently was a social worker in Essex; she reckons a lot of the skills from that trade come in very handy for her present one! By Easter she hopes to have converted the lounge into a restaurant, while the public bar (a spartan affair at present) will have been upgraded. Longer-term plans include constructing a conservatory, opening up a currently hidden fireplace, and starting an organic vegetable garden to supply the kitchen. On the real ale front Flowers IPA is the only offering, but as trade increases, who knows?

The Three Kings at Haddenham has been refurbished and reopened by Greene King after having languished for a couple of years with "wooden curtains". Once a Norwich Brewery (i.e. Watneys) pub, the Kings had passed through the uncaring hands of several pub companies before its (thankfully temporary) closure. GK have replaced the two-bar layout with a single room, albeit divided by the magnificent inglenook fireplace in the former public bar. Several different drinking areas have been created through use of open screens and changes of level. An interesting-looking menu is available every session except Sunday evening, and real ales are GK (IPA, Triumph, Abbot and "Morlands" Old Speckled Hen).

Elgood's (Wisbech) first pub acquisition for many years, the Waggon & Horses at Milton, reopened in December under the care of Nick and Mandy Winnington, with five Elgoods beers plus a guest and Cassels cider. It now opens at 5pm on weekdays for the office trade and food is available in every session. Nick has resumed his popular Balti nights though on Thursdays rather than the Sundays at the Cambridge Blue. They plan to make the most of the large garden.

The Sun, Waterbeach, a 16th-century coaching inn, is looking for a new tenant, as is the Slap Up, whose licensees Michael & Annette Rolfe are now at the Red Lion, Kirtling, which is now owned by Petty & Betty Streets.

Other recent ownership changes include the Black Bull, Balsham, now owned by Mr & Mrs Colin Campbell and the Three Hills, Bartlow, now owned by Richard & Jane Harrington. The Three Tuns in Fen Drayton and the Old Crown in Girton (both GK) had new landlords recently. The former proprietors of the Old Red Lion in Horseheath have reopened the Welcome Inn there under its original name, the Montfort Arms, and currently serve two Adnams beers.

The George & Dragon, Littleport, has closed, seemingly to be redeveloped as flats.


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Cambridge & District CAMRA