Caston couple wants pub to bring people together

Ian and Denise Warren have taken over the Red Lion in Caston. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Ian and Denise Warren have taken over the Red Lion in Caston. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A couple who were regulars at their local pub have become the venue's fourth landlords within three years in a bid to safeguard its future.

When Denise and Ian Warren first moved to Caston, near Watton, from Saffron Walden five years ago their village pub, the Red Lion, was closed.

Two years down the line it reopened and soon became the hub of the community where Mr and Mrs Warren were able to get to know other people in the village.

For various reasons three licensees have come and gone over the past three years and this summer the establishment faced closure once again.

But Mr and Mrs Warren were determined to keep the pub at the heart of the community and decided to take it on themselves, despite never running a pub before.

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Mrs Warren, 43, who worked as a teaching assistant at Caston Primary School until the end of the last school term and whose husband is a martial arts instructor, said: 'It's the hub of the village and it's how we met a lot of people.

'Without it we wouldn't know half as people as we do now.

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'The social side and getting people together is really important and if the pub were to close again it would be lost.

'There are more families moving into the village and more houses planned - it's the pub that brings everybody together.'

Mr and Mrs Warren, who have two daughters Holly, 18, and Polly, 17, have brought the traditional 'pub' feel back to the establishment which dates back to the late 1700s.

They serve what the describe as 'good pub grub' ranging from traditional dishes such as steak and ale pie and burgers to swordfish, sirloin steak and pigeon and bacon pie.

They serve craft lagers from Norwich-based brewery Redwell and they have introduced Sky Sports to the venue for the first time for live sports coverage.

The Red Lion is currently open from 6pm Tuesday to Saturday and from midday on Sundays. It is also open if there is a big football match on during Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Warren, who is a bell-ringer at the village church, said: 'We've made it much more like a village pub again with a relaxed atmosphere and where families are welcome.

'We've had people who haven't been in the pub for years come back through the door.'

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