Celebrating 25 years of the Stratford Haven pub

Affectionately known as the ‘Strat,’ the popular West Bridgford pub first opened its doors 25 years ago. It soon established itself as a firm favourite with locals, as well as welcoming thousands of visitors over the years in the city for cricket at Trent Bridge and football at the City and County grounds.

Castle Rock, local brewery and pub group, opened the ‘Stratford Haven’ in 1999 following a competition to name the pub. Managing Director, Colin Wilde remembers ‘The Bread & Lard’ had also been a strong contender, a nod to West Bridgford’s old nickname, ‘Bread and Lard Island’. Castle Rock still has the original handwritten letter from Kay Tomlinson – aged 81 at the time – with various name suggestions, including the winning ‘Stratford Haven’.

Before that, the pub had been a pet shop. A memory that Tom Eccles, General Manager at the Stratford Haven shared: “I used to walk past the pet shop going to and from school as a kid. And for the last nearly twenty years, here I am, making the same journey! There’s a lot for me to celebrate personally, I’ve made so many friends and happy memories over the years at this pub. Not to mention the countless crazy match days and the unforgettable Christmas Eves.”

For Castle Rock’s Operations Director, Vicki Saxby, the Strat’s 25th birthday has a particular significance. She commented: “The Stratford Haven has a special place in my heart. I started my career there when it first opened, and my time there showed me what a great pub looked like. It set the bar.

Lots of us here at Castle Rock have a similar story, starting in one of the pubs and working our way up. The standard just gets higher as the years go on and this milestone is so encouraging. I think it shows we’re doing the right things, taking pride in what we do and caring about our customers, our pubs and our people. I hope if we continue always trying to be the best we can be, we’ll be celebrating many more birthdays for years to come!”

Serving a variety of quality cask and keg beer, the Stratford Haven is renowned for its welcoming feel, homemade and hearty food, traditional snug area and bright and sunny beer garden.

Posted on 23 May 2024

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Georgia Cowdrey