Pub raises glass to birthday milestone

DESPITE the doom and gloom of a host of pubs calling time on their customers, one treasured public house is today celebrating bucking the trend.

MARTLESHAM: Despite the doom and gloom of a host of pubs calling time on their customers, one treasured public house is today celebrating bucking the trend.

The Douglas Bader Pub in Martlesham Heath has been successfully serving the community for the last 30 years.

Margaret Barrett, who has owned the pub with husband John for the last 11 years, said their success was down to the loyalty of its regulars and a determination to offer customers the best.

She said: “We have got a good following in the area and beyond and over the last 11 years we have built up the business with our managers, Karen and Tony Curtis.

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“We are very community-minded with lots of quizzes and fundraising events for schools and I think we offer everything anybody could need, with facilities for children to grandparents.

“We have invested in the property and refurbished the pub, constantly keeping the business up to scratch.

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“It is a real team effort with our friendly, experienced staff.”

To mark the three-decade milestone, drinkers enjoyed a fundraising event featuring a barbeque, bouncy castle and face painting in aid of Martlesham Heath Aviation Society.

In total, the event helped to raise �600 for the society, which relies solely on donations.

Mrs Barrett added: “We are built on the site of the old runway and so this was a great opportunity to raise money for the aviation society.”

Bob Dunnett, vice-chairman of the society, said: “It is an incredible amount of money, we are so appreciative. We did not expect it at all.

“It's really is a lovely pub with a wonderful atmosphere. It feels like a village pub, the hub of the community.

“I think its great success is down to the people who own and run it.”

Is your boozer flying the flag for the county's pub industry? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Named in honour of the ace Second World War fighter pilot, the Douglas Bader Pub is located on what was once the airfield runway.

Douglas Bader was an 'ace' fighter pilot and a key figure in the Battle of Britain, shooting down 23 enemy aircraft during the course of the war, making him number 11 in the RAF's tally of top fighter pilots.

He achieved this success despite the fact that he had lost both his legs in a much earlier air accident.

He flew his first combat mission in May 1940. At this time, his squadron, 222 Sqn, was stationed at Martlesham Heath.

On August 9, 1941, flying over northern France, he collided with a German plane and went down, to find himself a prisoner of war.

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