From part-time barman to Publican of the Year

WHEN Lee Ford turned 18 the first place he went drinking was the Carpenter’s Arms.

He had been odd-jobbing at the Union Street pub for years, and knew the venue like the back of his hand – something which came in fairly handy when he took over the boozer two years ago.

Since then, he has worked hard to return the pub to its former glory, and has done so well that last week he was named as Bateman’s Publican of the Year.

The 35-year-old said: “It was a really nice boost for everyone at the pub. It’s a big achievement. I’m really proud.

“This is the first place I drank in, so I have a real affection for the pub.”

Lee, whose family have worked in the pub trade for many years, worked as a plumber before he took over the pub in December 2009.

In just two years he has increased the turnover of the business dramatically and introduced a new lease of life to the traditional family pub.

He said: “My whole plan for the pub was to take it back to an old-fashioned real ale pub.

“People have got fed up with these plastic pubs. They like the warm family atmosphere, which you don’t often get these days.

“You walk through the door in my pub and there’s somebody you know behind the bar.”

Lee was told he had won the award in a ceremony at Batemans headquarters last week.

He beat out competition from almost 70 pubs nationwide, including others in Boston, after company representatives were impressed with the overall performance of the venue.

As well as being crowned best of the best by Batemans, The Carpenter’s Arms is one of only two Boston pubs to appear in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, which was launched in the town this week.

The town’s Wetherspoons pub, The Moon Under Water, also made the pages of the prestigious guide.