A PUB landlord in Wanborough is following in his father’s footsteps and diversifying his trade to make the most of the June heat wave and England’s World Cup success.

Paul Studholme, who took over Brewers Arms in Wanborough since April 2017, remembers working for the pub as a lad when his adopted parents ran it during the 1976 heat wave which bought a roaring trade. “It was long hot summer, and the lawn was turning brown and people just kept flocking out there,” said Paul.

"Pubs have been struggling over the last few years, but this heat wave is helping pubs to pay their bills and balance their books. Now we're so busy we're struggling to keep up."

Paul made the decision to add two big outdoor screens and built an outside bar and kitchen, as well as a coffee and waffle bar.

“I took a big gamble putting in outdoor screens at the pub, who knew the weather would turn out this good and England would play as well,” he said. “It could have rained every day.”

Paul’s adopted parents, Gerald and Muriel Saddler, ran the pub from the 1950s until 1990 and were famous for owning a variety of exotic animals to keep the customers coming back.

“It was a really popular pub,” said Paul.

“It was just like a mini little zoo, there were peacocks running around the garden, three or four monkeys, my dad used to breed macaws. He was a landlord as well, but he put the two things together. He was always looking for different things to do.”

“My adopted dad really diversified, he did something different that was quite quirky to your average pub. Now I’ve taken over I’m thinking outside the box.”

Paul started doing a coffee and waffle bar in February in the front of the pub and in the autumn will start a cider and gin bar. “That’s where I’m thinking outside the box and trying to be different from the pub up the road,” he said.

“I’ve got such good feedback, people are coming in a just saying they’re loving the vibe of what we’re doing. We’re trying to make it a cool country bar, rather than a pub.

“The people who used to go out to old town and have maybe grown out of it and had kids, maybe they want to go out at the weekend. They don’t just want to go to a country pub. They want something with a bit of life.”