It may have been a slippy, frosty day on 10th December 2012, but it was almost like the Draycott Arms (on the corner of Uttoxeter Road and Cheadle Road) had never been away – the place was full for its first night back after two years of being closed!
The new owner John Ford – who is well known to many as one of our local parish councillors – has bought the pub outright, so there are no problems of ‘tie’ which beset so many other pubs. John’s son Glynn is the licensee.
One thing that delighted many folks who turned up was the ‘guest beer’ – an ale called Draycott Crusader, which was especially commissioned from Marston’s Beers by the pub.
The ale is John’s own tribute to the village, and refers to the famous medieval tomb in St Margaret’s Church of a knight in full armour.
The coat of arms that you can see on the pump (in the photo above) is the coat of arms of the ancient Draycott family which ran this area as their fiefdom in the Middle Ages.
Some of us wondered if John would keep the old pub-sign – which also shows the Draycott coat of arms. After all, some people might think it a bit old-fashioned.
But John told us that he has decided to go with tradition. The only change he has made was to remove the weather-beaten old sign, and have a new version made in freshly-coloured paints. It looks good…
It is also good to see that the older parts of the pub, like the Snug, have not been altered much. The old red-tiles on the floor are still there, and the bar, with its old tiles, looks much the same.
The Draycott Arms will be operating as a Free House, though half the pub is of course allocated as a restaurant area, so it’s selling itself not just on its beer but its food too.
John also told us that the pub is, in a way, his ‘gift’ to the village after years of living here. He told us that he doesn’t expect to make huge profits out of the business (though he’d prefer not to make a loss!) but that he simply felt that the pub should not be allowed to go under.
He’s had a lot of support in his venture too, and not just from his family – the pub’s Facebook page has almost 400’likes’!
On the first day of opening, we also spotted some of his fellow parish councillors enjoying the delights of the restaurant.
So, what of the future?
Well, it looks like the beer will keep flowing. As well as Draycott Crusader, the real ale list includes Marston’s Pedigree and Jennings Cumberland Ale.
As for the food, the kitchen is a family affair, so it will be home cooking, using beef, lamb and other produce, directly from the Ford family’s own local Cairneycroft Farm.
It’s great to see someone taking on the challenge of keeping village institutions going – good luck to John and his family…
To contact the Arms, simply phone 07973480132 / 01782 395595
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