Wheathampstead pub reclaims its history with the return of Bull sign

PUBLISHED: 15:05 29 July 2015

The Bull sign returns to its rightful place in Wheathampstead

The Bull sign returns to its rightful place in Wheathampstead

Photo supplied

After taking the carving knife to a piece of pub history when it bullishly replaced a sign with its own name, a steakhouse chain quickly had locals sizzling with rage.

The Bull sign returns to its rightful place in WheathampsteadThe Bull sign returns to its rightful place in Wheathampstead

In April this year, eagle-eyed residents noticed a new sign hanging outside one of Wheathampstead’s famous landmarks, The Bull.

The earliest record of the Grade II listed timber framed ‘Bull Inn’, located in the High Street near the banks of the River Lea, dates back to 1617.

General Monck, instrumental in the restoration of Charles II, was said to have stayed there during the Civil War, and the village kept its fire engines there after 1866.

But all this history evaporated when current owners Miller & Carter, a steakhouse chain, introduced new corporate signage that removed the name of the restaurant completely.

The Bull sign returns to its rightful place in Wheathampstead: Cllr Annie Brewster, left, presenting a rosette to pub manager Mike Langdon, with deputy mayor Cllr Gill ClarkThe Bull sign returns to its rightful place in Wheathampstead: Cllr Annie Brewster, left, presenting a rosette to pub manager Mike Langdon, with deputy mayor Cllr Gill Clark

Words encircling a picture of a bovine said: “For the love of steak. The Steak Experience. Miller & Carter Steakhouse.”

Wheathampstead resident Gaynor Andrews wrote to the Herts Advertiser about villagers being “furious by the disappearance of the name and old sign of The Bull”.

She added: “Not only has the name of The Bull been removed but we now have in its place a picture of an animal showing the various cuts of meat.

“What on earth is that supposed to represent – a butcher’s shop?”

The offending sign which did not refer to The BullThe offending sign which did not refer to The Bull

Cllr Annie Brewster, the district council’s portfolio holder for heritage, said that following intervention by The Bull’s new manager, Mike Langdon, the offending sign was replaced.

She added: “It was refreshing the way he grasped the importance of our heritage and encouraged his marketing team to rethink its strategy and return The Bull to the village.”

To celebrate Mike’s gesture, a Best of British parade recently held in Wheathampstead - complete with brass band - halted outside The Bull, to surprise him with a special village rosette.

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