Kenilworth pub wins national award for role in the community

From left: Lana White (the bar manager) and Ted and Lisa Bear, the licencees at the Engine Inn pub
From left: Lana White (the bar manager) and Ted and Lisa Bear, the licencees at the Engine Inn pub

A Kenilworth pub has received a national award for the role it plays in the community in the town.

The Engine Inn on Mill End was selected as for the national Heart of the Community Award from 2,500 pubs around the country in the competition run by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars.

Kenilworth born-and-bred licensee Andrew Bear – known locally as Ted – was presented with the award by actor, comedian and presenter Joel Dommett at a gala ceremony at the five-star Luton Hoo hotel in Bedfordshire.

The Heart of the Community Award recognises the pub that makes the most difference in its community.

The judges were bowled over by The Engine Inn’s charity work, which has raised more than £50,000 for Myton Hospice through events such as family fun days and helped countless other local good causes by holding activities ranging from collections to fundraising barbecues.

The judges were impressed by the wider contribution The Engine Inn makes to Kenilworth life highlighting its annual prostate cancer awareness evenings that have diagnosed seven cases amongst local men and its women’s health nights focused on dementia.

They described themselves as “gob smacked” by the number of activities the pub is involved in.

Initiatives sited by the judges included: a litter pick, which collected 54 bags of rubbish from Kenilworth streets and has become a biannual event, sponsorship of Odibourne allotment open days and Ted’s involvement in increasing the number of floats at Kenilworth Carnival.

The Engine Inn scored highly for supporting sports in Kenilworth too. The judges noted how Ted not only runs the local darts and dominoes leagues and sponsors two football teams and a ladies rugby team, but organises coaches to take Kenilworth fans to Coventry City and Wasps matches.

An Engine Inn regular since the age of 23, 54-year old Ted took over the pub in 2004 when he wanted a change from a career in engineering.

Ted and Lisa Bear with their award

Ted and Lisa Bear with their award

With Ted at the helm, the Engine has won the Kenilworth Chamber of Trade's Worthies Award for best pub in Kenilworth for three out of the last four years.

Ted said: “Kenilworth is a smashing town. I feel very fortunate to live here and to have been able to take over the local I love.

"Helping the community is the pub’s way of giving back. This award is recognition of my fantastic customers, who are so supportive, and the many other people and organisations in the town who we link up with and make Kenilworth such a special place to live.”

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “Ted is an archetypal pillar of the community. He is passionate about The Engine Inn and the community it serves and gives them his all.

Ted and Lisa receiving the award from actor, comedian and presenter Joel Dommett at a gala ceremony held last night (Tuesday February 4).

Ted and Lisa receiving the award from actor, comedian and presenter Joel Dommett at a gala ceremony held last night (Tuesday February 4).

The Engine Inn represents all that is best about the Great British pub. Ted’s achievements are phenomenal and this award is well deserved.”

The Engine Inn pub in Kenilworth

The Engine Inn pub in Kenilworth