The publicans of Harpenden's The Engineer have been recognised with an award due to their contribution to the site.

Harpenden-born Pete Mann and St Albans' Mike Fisher were given the award by Star Pubs & Bars - who own the premises - having run the location since 2002.

Having drank his first pint at the pub, Pete was 23-years-old and a regular at The Engineer when he and Mike took it on.

The duo have since invested more than £750,000 into the site, and have guided the pub through a global pandemic.

The pub is believed to have been built in 1865, and is said to have been called 'The Bird in Hand’ but become known as The Engineer after the nearby railway from London to Bedford was built in 1868.

Herts Advertiser: Pete receiving the award from Dan Hayward of Star Pubs & Bars.Pete receiving the award from Dan Hayward of Star Pubs & Bars. (Image: Star Pubs & Bars)

Pete commented: “I’ve known the Engineer all my life – it’s a lovely pub and was where I had my first pint with my friends as young man, so it’s very special to me.

"I’ve worked in pubs since my early teens and, when The Engineer became available, I jumped at the chance to take it on with Mike and give it the new lease of life it needed to keep it thriving for the long-term."

Pete also spoke of the pub's continued success, and the reasons that the pair remain in charge.

He added: "We never thought we’d be here this long and now can’t envisage leaving.

Herts Advertiser: “I’ve known the Engineer all my life – it’s a lovely pub.“I’ve known the Engineer all my life – it’s a lovely pub. (Image: Star Pubs & Bars)

"We still love running The Engineer, and that’s down to our fantastic staff and customers.

"Like any good local, there are lots of laughs and fun, but people look out for each other and help each other through any difficulties.

"Our customers are incredibly supportive of the pub; we can’t thank them enough.”


Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager for Harpenden, Dan Hayward, added: "This is a very well deserved award.

"Pete and Mike care about the community and have put their all into The Engineer, creating an outstanding pub that meets everyone’s needs.

Herts Advertiser: The interior of The Engineer, Harpenden.The interior of The Engineer, Harpenden. (Image: Star Pubs & Bars)

"They never rest on their laurels and are always coming up with new ideas to keep The Engineer at the top of its game.

"We wish them many more happy years behind the bar.”