St Mary's Church, Thame
By Peter Jeffery - 12th March 2015 1:15pm
Congratulations to Enid and Clarence Robinson who now live in Stone, and were previously the licensees of the Red Lion at Church End for 35 years. They are celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary this week.
They met socially in a pub in Haddenham in 1962, and were married at St. Mary's Church, Haddenham, in 1965. Later that year they bought No. 5 Churchway, Haddenham, and Enid's parents became licensees of the pub. Enid was born in Haddenham and used to work at Nielsen's in Oxford: Clarence was born in Ashendon and worked at Pressed Steel.
After Enid's father died in 1970, her mother went to Australia for three months so Enid and Clarence looked after the Red Lion in her absence. Having been persuaded to apply for the licence, the couple did not imagine that they would be successful, as they had had no previous experience. However their application was accepted by Bill Leyland, as Managing Director of Aylesbury Brewery Company at the time.
They took over the pub on 6th December 1971 and ran it together until May, 2006. That was the date when Enid also retired as a Parish Councillor, having made time for that too for twelve years, including a period when she was Vice-Chairman.
Sadly, the pub closed suddenly in 2012: plans have been approved for a conversion to give a total of three houses on the site. Enid says that it very sad that it is not a pub any more.
The Lion's Den behind the pub was their conversion of the old shed that had stood on the site. The Den had a lot of use by clubs, particularly the bridge club, and for many other meetings. Before Haddenham Social Centre the pub was a frequent haunt by the football club, and many villagers have fond memories playing cards, dominoes and darts there — including the Women's Darts Team that Enid started.
Off sales were usually made from "The Jug and Bottle" — a separate door at the side of the pub. One day a couple went there, and then round the front to the Red Lion's main entrance. "We have just seen you at the Jug and Bottle, do you run two pubs?!"
They say "When we managed the pub it was our whole life; we had a very enjoyable time there; we have many happy memories and we made loads of great friends."
When they left the pub they retained a special keepsake: the mirror that was given to all the licensees of "Aylesbury Brewery Company Established 1895" in the 1980s. They are always pleased to be remembered by their customers and were delighted when they met some of their customers whilst they were visiting Australia.
We wish them many more years of married life together.
(Images courtesy of the Bucks Herald)