Bardwell pub landlords celebrate 22 years

Alan and Denise Nurse
Alan and Denise Nurse
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A couple who have spent more than two decades at the helm of a village pub are asking locals to help them celebrate tomorrow night.

Alan and Denise Nurse took over the Dun Cow in Bardwell in September 1995, a pub previously run by Alan’s parents between 1977-89, while Denise’s parents were running the village shop.

Now the pair are preparing to mark their 22nd year as landlords with a special bash which will also give customers a first look at their newly-refurbished West Suffolk CAMRA Community Pub of the Year-nominated pub.

As well as new carpet, freshly-painted walls and re-upholstered furniture, visitors can look forward to a revamped menu featuring a ‘build your own burger’ among traditional fare like battered cod and homebaked lasagne.

The party will get under way at 6pm tomorrow with live music from Suffolk talent Ben Smith, as well as games, food, local ales and a large ‘tree of memories’ on which visitors will be invited to write their memories of the Hawthorn Leisure-owned pub from the last 22 years.

“We know there aren’t many landlords who can say they’ve lasted over 20 years but we just love this pub and we love Bardwell,” said Alan, who is also known for his involvement in Bardwell’s Community Field Project and its 450-year-old village hall committee.

Denise, who organises the ‘village holiday’ in which 45 customers journeyed to Palma this year, said: “Community pubs have more of a place in today’s society than ever before in our lifetime I think. We’re a bit of everything to everyone and it bonds Bardwell in a way I believe all villagers are proud of.”

On how he and his wife have managed to live and work together so harmoniously over the years, Alan said: “Well of course I do what I’m told. It’s about respecting each other – we know what we’re both good at and it doesn’t always fall into the stereotypical blue and pink jobs.”