End of era for Biggleswade’s Red Lion pub despite managers’ mighty efforts

PUBLISHED: 09:13 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 02 October 2018

Happier times: Red Lion managers Juke Tyler and Chris Butler with previous landlord Tim Maddocks, centre. Picture: Juke Tyler

Happier times: Red Lion managers Juke Tyler and Chris Butler with previous landlord Tim Maddocks, centre. Picture: Juke Tyler

Archant

It’s the end of an era for a Biggleswade pub renowned as one of the best live music spots in the area, after its managers poured their souls into restoring it to its former glory.

The Red Lion in Biggleswade. Picture: Danny LooThe Red Lion in Biggleswade. Picture: Danny Loo

Juke Tyler and Chris Butler put in massive work from October 2 last year to make The Red Lion great again, after its rocking reputation had faded.

But in an emotional social media post on Friday evening, Juke sadly announced that “my beloved Red Lion” had been sold by the Greene King brewery.

Greene King told the Comet the pub had not been sold, but declined to comment further.

Juke said: “My love, respect and affection for the pub will not falter until the keys are returned.

“There are no words to describe how I am feeling, and there are no words that can make me feel better apart from ‘you can stay’ – which will not be happening.

“I have no words to express my gratitude for the way Chris and I have been supported and respected since taking the massive challenge of The Red Lion on.

“She will end her life as a pub being remembered as, by far, the best live music pub Biggleswade had, and will ever have.

“We will both be leaving with our heads held high, knowing we did all we could to save this beautiful pub, but in the end, she didn’t get as much support as she needed to save her. Those who played a part, no matter how small, in making our memories something we will never forget, will be our friends forever.

“To the bands who have played our stage, we love you all. Should we find another pub in need of rescue, your diaries will be filled.

“There is nothing left for me to say but thank you. We will miss you.”

Juke said she and Chris would be leaving the pub on Friday, November 2, after a handful of invite-only farewell nights.

The announcement comes after Central Bedfordshire Council refused an application for the pub, at the corner of London Road and The Baulk, to be recognised as an asset of community value. Hundreds have since signed a petition calling for this to be appealed.

Social media users consoling Juke included Val Gill, who wrote: “We’ve watched from afar and admired you in your efforts. The pub was in my husband’s family for 30 years and it broke his heart to see it go down hill before you rescued it. Good luck in whatever you do.”

Dean Turner posted: “You and Chris made the Red Lion rock again – a big, big thank you to you both.”

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