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Bury St Edmunds landlord Sean Driscoll on why he is bidding farewell to The Macebearer





A well-known landlord has spoken of his decision to bid farewell to a popular community pub.

Sean Driscoll has decided not to renew the tenancy of The Macebearer, in Bury St Edmunds, which he has run since June 2021.

He said that while he loved the pub and its customers, he was coming to the end of his agreement with Greene King and decided not to continue on commercial grounds.

Sean Driscoll will bid farewell to The Macebearer in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Sean Driscoll will bid farewell to The Macebearer in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

“It’s a bit tough out there at the moment,” he said.

“It was great but if I was to tell you our latest monthly electricity bill was £4,400 it might shock you.

“With the other cost-of-living pressures, we took the opportunity to just not renew our agreement.”

The Macebearer, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley
The Macebearer, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley

He added that the energy contract was negotiated when prices were high.

Mr Driscoll also runs The Masons Arms in Whiting Street and The Kings Arms in Brentgovel Street.

He reopened The Macebearer, in Home Farm Lane, after it had remained shut following the first lockdown.

At the time, the community launched a campaign to ensure it reopened with hundreds signing a petition.

He said he was proud of what they had achieved with the pub, which was a ‘great community asset’.

“It’s a really nice place but ultimately you’re in business to make money and, without extensive price increases which at this time wouldn’t really be appreciated, we decided to not renew and concentrate on our other businesses,” he said.

He added there were no redundancies.

Yesterday, a Greene King spokesperson said: “After investing in the Macebearer over the past couple of years, we are now recruiting for a new partner to join us at the pub.

“We would like to thank Sean for his time running the pub since it reopened in 2021.

“He will continue operating the Macebearer up until next spring while we recruit a new partner and we will also continue working with Sean at other pubs across Suffolk, including the Masons Arms and Kings Arms pubs in Bury St Edmunds.”

Shirley Pattle outside the Macebearer in the 1970s - she named the pub through a competition in the Bury Free Press
Shirley Pattle outside the Macebearer in the 1970s - she named the pub through a competition in the Bury Free Press

The company is offering the pub for re-let under its ‘new style franchise agreement’.

The Macebearer has been a social hub for the community since 1974 and was named by resident Shirley Pattle through a competition in the Bury Free Press.

She picked the name to commemorate the merger of what was then West and East Suffolk authorities, which saw Bury lose its status as a county town but also its macebearer.

In 2014, Mrs Pattle, who was invited to a party to celebrate the pub’s 40th anniversary, said she came up with it after noticing several roads on the Nowton estate were named after former mayors and thought the macebearer should be acknowledged.