After 16 years behind the bar, landlady Liz takes the reins at The Welly

Liz's 16 year apprenticeship is finally over

The future of one of Bedford’s most beloved pubs, the Wellington Arms, is in safe hands as landlady Liz Blackford-Sutton has taken on the lease of the building.

For the last 16 years, Liz has worked for the brewery Banks & Taylor, recently becoming the pub’s landlady. However, when the brewery closed, the building’s owner immediately offered Liz the lease, and she jumped at the chance.

Regulars will be pleased to know Liz won’t be making any drastic changes to the pub, but she has already had the piano tuned and does promise there will be small improvements, maybe even expanding the ladies’ toilets.

As anyone who has visited The Welly will know, it is a small but perfectly formed pub on Wellington Street between Prime Ministers and the town centre, with Emily, Henry, Geoff and Ian expertly wo/manning the bar.

“We’ve got such a great team, it really doesn’t feel like work,” said Liz. “Even if I wake up in a bad mood, I just have to be down in the bar for half an hour and it cheers me up.”

Liz hopes that a new generation of drinkers will discover the joys of the Welly and the recent collaboration with Crown and Heel burgers, to be repeated on Saturday, 22 October, brought in new people and the locals loved it too.

With nine pumps and seven kegs, there is always something for everyone’s taste, and Liz is looking forward to bringing some new beers in and also expanding the pub’s non-alcoholic offer.

The passion Liz has for her pub is only matched by her love of Bedford.

She’s a dedicated supporter of the town’s other independent businesses, heading to Herd for their legendary Sunday roast at least twice a month, watching bands at Esquires, working on her laptop over a coffee at The Gallery or having lunch at Foxy Wings.

“The people who love our town and support independent businesses are the people that are making a difference,” said Liz.

“I like nothing more than sitting and talking about how much I love Bedford. There’s so much to be positive about in the town.

“The future’s bright, although, with the price of gas and electricity, you might need to wear a head torch and an extra jumper for the time being.”

Keep Local news Alive in Bedfordshire