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Locals face a double change to estate pub
THE Bullnose Morris pub, on Oxford’s Blackbird Leys estate, is to have its second makeover in just over a year.
Manager Ruth Wilson is also leaving the Watlington Road local as it closes for a month tomorrow and is refurbished to become a Hungry Horse pub, focusing on cheap meal deals.
Mrs Wilson has run the pub since April 2011 and said she had loved every minute of it.
The 53-year-old said: “I have really enjoyed my time here, it’s been so much fun.
“The area has a reputation it doesn’t deserve.
“Blackbird Leys is great and there is such a wonderful community spirit, that is what I will take away from this place.
“The people have been amazing. They get a bad name here in Blackbird Leys and it is such a shame because it is actually really nice here.
“A lot of people said there might have been problems, but I certainly haven’t had any, and the regulars have made it such fun.
“We have a good laugh, we’ve had all sorts here in the last year, from charity nights to a community disco. I’ll be very sorry to go.”
She oversaw a redevelopment of the pub in 2011, when 10 staff were added and the pub’s history was celebrated, with an appeal to decorate it with old pictures.
The refurbishment was funded by owner Greene King, which introduced a new restaurant area and sports section, along with new toilets and a disabled entrance.
Now the pub will be pitched at families, with more food deals and child menus.
Mrs Wilson has more than 30 years’ experience in the pub trade and said she was moving to run another establishment in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
Regulars have taken to the pub’s Facebook page to thank her for turning the pub’s around.
Blackbird Leys resident Hailey Marshall said: “Ruth we will miss you. You are the best thing that happened to our local, wish we didn’t have to say goodbye.”
The pub opened in March 1969 and welcomed scores of motoring fans who drove to it in some of the 155,000 Cowley-built cars which shared its name.
The pub took its name from the first William Morris car made at the nearby car plant, the Oxford.
The car, made between 1913 and 1926, was called the ‘Bullnose’ because of its distinctive round-topped radiator, which was first called the bullet nose.