Corby pub back from the brink after local man gives up his job at Tayto to run the place

James Crawford who has taken over The Kingfisher in Corby. Image: National WorldJames Crawford who has taken over The Kingfisher in Corby. Image: National World
James Crawford who has taken over The Kingfisher in Corby. Image: National World
James Crawford said he couldn’t let the Kingfisher lie empty

A Corby estate pub has been reopened by a local man who has given up his regular job to become the manager.

The Kingfisher in Fotheringhay Road on the Lodge Park estate has been empty for at least three months and had had several temporary managers for years beforehand.

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But now James Crawford has stepped-up to run it and hopes to resurrect it as a community venue.

The Kingfisher in Fotheringhay Road, Corby. Image: National WorldThe Kingfisher in Fotheringhay Road, Corby. Image: National World
The Kingfisher in Fotheringhay Road, Corby. Image: National World

The Fisher, as it’s known locally, is owned by the UK’s largest pub company Stonegate but has not been consistently open for some time. The lease has now been taken over by a local businessman and James will step up to the role of manager.

He gave up a job he’d been in at Tayto for 13 years to take on the role.

James said: “I grew up around the Welland Vale area and this has always been a great pub. My friend asked me if I wanted to come in and be the bar manager and I thought it was a good idea.

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“My Rangers supporters’ group – The Corby True Blues – started meeting here after the supporters’ club in Rockingham Road closed down.

James (right) with his father-in-law John Creek who has been helping him out behind the bar. Image: National WorldJames (right) with his father-in-law John Creek who has been helping him out behind the bar. Image: National World
James (right) with his father-in-law John Creek who has been helping him out behind the bar. Image: National World

"That’s one of the reasons I wanted to keep it open, although we won’t be running it as a Rangers pub. Supporters of all clubs will be welcome here and it will be for all the community.

"We’ve got big televisions which will have the sport on and I’ve just ordered a darts board because it’s become so popular.

"We’re going to have a pool team and a football team and regular music nights.”

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Local Joe Jones, who lives across the road from the pub and has been drinking in the Fisher for 48 years, said: “It’s great to have it back.

"It’s been the social aspect we’ve missed, and the craic.

"There’s an old folks home across the road and they come in here too. There’s not a lot of other places to drink so I’m sure James can make a good go of it.”

The pub is also going to be home to Corby’s only LGBTQIA+ night, which will be run by a local woman.

James said: “There isn’t another night like that in Corby. I was approached about and I just thought ‘why not’ as there’s a good few gay people who want somewhere to socialise. If it’s successful we’ll make it a regular thing.

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"We’ve been open about a month and it’s been a bit different to what I was expecting. The business side of it is very hard work but I’ve had so much support form friends and family. My father-in-law is here help me which I really appreciate.

"Let’s hope it’s back open for good this time.”

The pub, which also has a beer garden, is open from 11am to 11pm most days, The LGBTQIA+ night is on Friday, April 19 from 7pm till late with DGay Neil and some great drinks deals.

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