Back to the future for historic pub

Historic Nottinghamshire village pub is celebrating the past by investing in the future. More than £145,000 has been invested in the Cuckoo Bush at Gotham following an extensive refurbishment in partnership with national pub operator Punch. Centrepiece of the new-look pub, which dates back to the 1800s, is a “story wall” in the bar, highlighting the history of the village and how the pub acquired its unique name. According to legend, villagers successfully deterred King John from creating a highway through their village by feigning stupidity when royal messengers arrived. Some of the absurd tasks they attempted included drowning an eel in a pool of water, rolling cheese downhill hoping it would reach Nottingham and laying a hedge to trap a cuckoo in a bush. Keen to ensure the village’s quirky history lives on in the pub are new husband and wife team, Peter and Marcia Holton, who come to the Cuckoo Bush from the Three Crowns at Wymeswold, which they ran for 10 years. Marcia said: “We love pubs with character and history, which is what attracted us to the Cuckoo Bush and why we are so keen to ensure it is preserved for future generations. “As well as the story wall, we have put up lots of old photographs of the area and retained its traditional layout of three separate rooms, which has been very popular with our regular customers.” In addition to the internal work, the investment programme has included improvements to the garden and the creation of three new jobs. A range of entertainment has been laid on throughout the week from quiz nights to traditional pub games and a mid-week “open mic” session. Food will also feature prominently with attractions such as homemade pies on Thursday evenings, two sirloin steaks and a bottle of wine for just £25 on a Saturday and traditional roasts on a Sunday. New business development manager for Punch Andrew McCulloh said: “Our main priority was to restore the Cukoo Bush to its rightful place at the heart of the community. With its colourful history, it’s a pub that attracts customers from far and wide and I’m delighted we now have a pub the village can be proud of. “Marcia and Peter have been great to work with on this project and I’m confident that they will make the Cuckoo Bush a resounding success.”