Raise a glass to duo behind Biggleswade pub’s success

When Rob Stimson took on the Biggleswade pub he used to drink in, little did he know he would still be running it 30 years later.

The Wheatsheaf had been his local before he and his wife Jane moved in, in 1989.

“I was 31 when we took on The Wheatsheaf,” said Rob, who ran a club in the town for seven years.

“Running it has been a lot of hard work. It really is a way of life, and Jane and I have made The Wheatsheaf our home. We’ve one member of bar staff, but it’s essentially just the two of us, and we do everything ourselves.

“We developed the beer garden at the rear, which is very popular in summer, and where we have barbecues. Jane cooks all of the food for those, and makes the rolls we serve, but the focus here is very much on beer.”

“It’s a very small pub,” said Rob, “but it’s a good friendly pub, and women are very happy to come here on their own, while the younger 25 to 30-year-old drinkers mix happily with the older regulars who’ve been coming here for years.

“We’re always raising money for charity, especially Macmillan Cancer Support and the nearby Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.”

Known for keeping an excellent cellar, He is looking forward to owners Hawthorn Leisure updating it in the Spring.

And Rob, who has worked in demolition and civil engineering, in an office and as a hod carrier, has no plans to leave The Wheatsheaf on Lawrence Road, any time soon: “I’m not ready to retire yet, and so long as I continue to enjoy it, I’ll keep going.”

Hawthorn Leisure managing director of operations Mark McGinty said: “Rob has done a superb job of running this classic drink-led pub,”