Cheers! Couple celebrate 20 years at helm of Meriden pub - The Solihull Observer

Cheers! Couple celebrate 20 years at helm of Meriden pub

Solihull Editorial 7th Oct, 2022   0

A MERIDEN pub landlord and lady have been handed a long service award at the historic 1600s pub.

Caroline and Laurence O’Neill are not calling ‘time’ after 20 years and have extended their lease so they can clock up a further decade at The Queen’s Head.

The award from the pub’s owners, Star Pubs and Bars, recognises the contribution the couple have made to Meriden over the years.

The Queen’s Head is describe as a hub of the community and supports village events like the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, helps raise money for local charities and delivers meals to housebound elderly residents.

Caroline and Laurence decided to change careers from teaching assistant and engineer respectively to take over the pub when the previous landlord announced he was retiring.

Laurence said: “It was the heart of village life with a lovely atmosphere and customers – we couldn’t resist it.

“The original plan was to stay here five years but we never wanted to leave.

“We love running The Queen’s Head, and the best part is our fantastic customers and staff who’ve supported us every step of the way.”

Originally a private home, the building became a drinking house in the late 1600s and then a coaching inn called The Queen’s Head Hotel.

The pub has been extended over the years, but the original beams are still visible in the attic.

The O’Neills have kept the traditional décor they liked when they first became customers in the 1980s and pictures of the pub through the ages adorn the walls along with horse brasses, bridles, a halter and a collection of old memorabilia such as Toby Jugs reflecting its past.

Jacqueline Frow, the area manager for Star Pubs and Bars, said: “Despite all the challenges of the past few years, The Queen’s Head has stood the test of time and is busier than ever.

“It’s a wonderfully welcoming pub and it’s all down to Caroline and Laurence.

“It’s brilliant news for the area and testimony to the enduring popularity of the great British pub that they’ve taken another 10-year lease.”

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