Chippenham pub prepares to celebrate 'survival' party

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Packhorse pub owners, from left Ian and Michelle Ellwood and Ray and Liv Cusack, will celebrate their first year at the pub with a party Packhorse pub owners, from left Ian and Michelle Ellwood and Ray and Liv Cusack, will celebrate their first year at the pub with a party

The landlords of a Chippenham pub are holding a ‘survival party’ to celebrate their first anniversary.

Sisters Michelle Ellwood and Liv Cusack, 47, and their respective husbands, Ian, 52, and Ray, 52, went into partnership together at the Packhorse pub in London Road last December.

Mr and Mrs Ellwood, of Pewsham, were regular customers of the pub and were dismayed that it closed so decided to take the plunge and took over the lease.

Mr and Mrs Cusack relocated from Shropshire to join in the venture.
Although all four had experience of bar work, this was the first time they had run their own pub.

Mrs Ellwood, 43, said the survival party was a tongue in cheek reference to some of their customers.

She said: “We are not sure whether the locals have survived us or we have survived them! We made a few changes in the pub and people don’t always tend to like change.

“For example, we moved the clock and the regulars didn’t like it. After six weeks of them telling us they didn’t like it we put it back where it was originally. It was silly little things like that, but we have come through it and the locals are supporting the pub.”

The aim of the Ellwoods and the Cusacks was to make the 18th century freehouse pub more family friendly and they say they have done that. They have removed a plastic treehouse slide in the garden and are creating a children’s adventure play trail.

They offer home cooked traditional food and have also introduced monthly themed quiz, music night plus sporting events including an in house pool ladder and darts ladder.

They have also held several charity events.

The survival party is all day on December 15 and is open to all. There will be drink promotions and spot prizes.

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