Time for a celebration at Corsham

This Is Wiltshire: Martin and Debbie Still, of the Methuen Arms, with their Great British Pub award Martin and Debbie Still, of the Methuen Arms, with their Great British Pub award

A couple who have revived the fortunes of Corsham’s Methuen Arms are delighted after it was named the Best Turnaround Pub at the Great British Pub Awards in London.

Martin and Debbie Still, both 47, took over the formerly derelict High Street pub, in November 2009, making huge improvements.

They repositioned the bar, modernised guest accommodation and installed new gas and electric systems before reopening the pub in November 2010.

Since then, its annual profits have been in excess of £1m and this year it was named regional Best Turnaround Pub in the competition, run by The Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

Last Thursday, the pub was crowned the national winner of the category during a ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, in Park Lane, London.

Mrs Still, who ran the Pear Tree Inn in Whiteley for ten years with her husband, said: “We are really pleased as this is a huge pat on the back from the industry to be recognised and it is also a great morale boost for our hardworking staff.

“It was closed for a year and in an horrendous state when we first took it over, probably worse than we anticipated, so it is great to have turned the situation around.

“The Methuen Arms is in a prime position in the town and it needed to be brought back to life.”

As part of the competition, judges toured the building.

At last week’s ceremony, the couple received their accolade from comedian Jason Manford.

Rob Willock, editor of The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, said: “Judges were struck by the great use of a grand, imposing property in which the Stills have installed a complex of comfortable bars, restaurants and private dining rooms, plus a dozen bespoke letting rooms.

“They also praised the pub’s menu as being full of interest and creativity, as well as its real ales, which are locally sourced.

“The pub has given locals a reason to stay in town rather than travel to Bath for a night out.”

Mrs Still said the pub was making arrangements to hold a celebration to thank their staff and customers for their part towards the pub achieving the award.

For more information about the Methuen Arms, call (01249) 717060 or visit

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