Former landlady, 88, proves she can still pull perfect pint in return to her old pub

ANGLIA 060224 Sheila Saunders
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Sheila Sanders, 88, said it was “great to go back” to the King’s Head Inn in Mendlesham, Suffolk. Credit: PA Images

A pensioner has pulled a pint at the pub she ran alongside her late husband for 27 years on a special visit arranged through her care home.

Former landlady Sheila Sanders, 88, said it was “great to go back” to the King’s Head Inn in Mendlesham, Suffolk, which she ran with her husband Jim before handing the keys over in 2000.

Her husband died three years ago.

Staff at Care UK’s Cedrus House in Stowmarket, where Mrs Sanders is a resident, contacted the pub’s landlord and he agreed to help with a visit, even contacting some former regulars.

Mrs Sanders said that after retiring from running the pub she and her husband built a bungalow on a plot of land behind it, complete with a gate giving them direct access to the beer garden.

“That way, we could go whenever we wanted,” she said.

“It was hard work but we had a lot of fun over the years and made a lot of friends.

“It was great to go back, the place hasn’t changed a bit, and I enjoyed pulling a pint – although I’m too old to work in a pub now!”

She recalled how she once ejected a drinker from the pub.

“I’ve had to kick customers out too, including one who squirted me with the soda siphon – he thought he was being funny,” she said.

“He came back grovelling the next day.

“I let him in but told him ‘don’t you ever do that again!’”

Deepa Reju, home manager at Cedrus House, said: “Sheila is definitely a character and she always delights us with stories from her time working as a landlady.

“Our Wishing Tree initiative exists to enable residents to revisit the things that mattered to them most or create new memories.

“Sheila and her husband ran the King’s Head Inn for 27 years, during which time they saw their children grow up, met countless people and most likely pulled thousands of pints. You could tell she was right at home the minute we walked in.

“We had an amazing day out – Sheila certainly hadn’t forgotten how to pull the perfect pint.”

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