Jan marks 25 years as landlady

Jan will have been landlady at the Queens Head for 25 years on Sunday. She runs it with her sons and daughter''Pictured: Jan Rutherford with Mark Nicholson, Tracy Nicholson and Kevin Rutherford
Jan will have been landlady at the Queens Head for 25 years on Sunday. She runs it with her sons and daughter''Pictured: Jan Rutherford with Mark Nicholson, Tracy Nicholson and Kevin Rutherford
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JAN Rutherford has been at the Queen’s Head since scampi in a basket was the latest in pub dining.

But when she celebrates 25 years at the Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, pub on Sunday the food will be a lot better than that.

Jan was manager of the pub for three and a half years during which it repeatedly changed hands until Chef and Brewer decided it could not be profitable. She bought it and proved them wrong.

She now runs it with her sons, Mark Nicholson and Kevin Rutherford, and daughter, Tracey Nicholson, and it has a proper restaurant serving a wide range of dishes, mainly from local ingredients.

Looking back she says: “When we came here it was all green velour – it was horrendous! I think we only did Courage beers then, now we’re a free house and pride ourselves on real ales – we have four on all the time.”

The pub had small bars and did not even have a radio in them. Over the years it has been opened up, with a games room and conservatory added and one of its seven plasma screens is visible in the beer garden.

Jan said: “We took it over without any staff and built it up until it is a really strong and successful pub.”

So, on Sunday, she is inviting past and present staff, regulars and their families along for a celebration with live music, by Parallel, plus a buffet from 4pm.