New faces - and new look too - for The Bear pub as landlords Iain and Liz take over
New faces have appeared behind the bar at Marlborough’s The Bear public house following the retirement of the previous landlord after eight years.
It is Iain and Liz Watson’s first pub tenancy, but Liz has had plenty of experience, assistant-managing pubs in the Reading area before finally coming home to Wiltshire, where she grew up.
The Bear is owned by Wiltshire brewery, Arkell’s, and the brewery has been working with Iain and Liz refurbishing the pub, including the lounge area, as well as opening up a new games room at the back of the pub.
“We’re not just putting in the ‘Bear’ essentials,” insisted Liz. “We wanted to freshen up the pub completely, and we’ve not finished yet.
“We’ve got more new carpet to go in, the function room to redecorate and over the next few months we will be working our way through the nine letting rooms.”
Iain is equally delighted to be able to indulge himself in one of his passions – serving top quality real ale. “I love my beer and I’m really enjoying learning how to serve the best quality and taste from this side of the bar,” he revealed.
This is a second career for both Iain and Liz. For many years Iain ran a successful advertising company, and a computer sale and repair business.
And Liz, who was born and brought up in Swindon, worked for Honda for 15 years, taking redundancy in 2009 when the car manufacturer cut its workforce. Since then she has been building her experience in the pub trade.
“For those worried about the recent announcement of a reduction in the workforce, I’m proof that there is life after Honda,” declared Liz. “In fact this is my dream job.
“Before working at Honda, I’d worked in other Arkell’s pubs around the area so being able to run one of their pubs myself is like joining a big family. I know a lot of the landlords and they’re great.”
Marlborough has welcomed Liz and Iain with open arms. “We’ve had a lovely welcome to the town,” said Liz. “Other town landlords have also been in to wish us luck and the regulars are all great.”