|Article and Photos sent in by Paul Wright, 2015
The building work for the Welcome Inn in Irchester Road, Rushden was started in 1973, and following its completion, opened in the following year and was selling beers from brewers Mitchells & Butlers (M&B).
The first licensee was Mr Ernest Poole, but everyone knew him affectionately as Ernie. People may also remember Charlie Reynolds from Wymington being a regular barman, and doing the cellar and the beer pipes on a Sunday morning for Ernie. Sadly Charles was killed by a hit and run driver near Newton Bromswold one night some years ago circa the early 1990's.
Following Ernie's retirement from the Welcome Inn after twenty years service in 1994, he went to live just around the corner in Silverdale Grove.
So after forty plus years the Welcome needed some "TLC", and this came courtesy of Punch Ltd, in the form of a £330,000 dramatic makeover. This was carried out over a five week period of closure by Box Construction based in Melbourne, Derbyshire.
At the end of the building work, the new look Welcome Inn re-opened its doors on the sunny evening of Thursday 6th August, 2015 at 6pm, with crowds of customers sitting outside and enjoying a pleasant summer temperature of 24C.
We were given access to take photos prior to the opening with kind permission of the management.
So from that first opening with Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) with Ernie in 1974, we come into the brand new era as Jay and Lorri take over at the Welcome Inn with Punch.
So there’s a new team, with new ideas, at the Welcome Inn from August 2015.