Most Popular Pub of the Year for Sandwell named
Bottoms up! The winner of the Express & Star’s Most Popular Pub of the Year for Sandwell has been announced.
The British Queen, Birmingham Road, Oldbury, won the award after fierce competition.
The competition now in its third year, saw a number of pubs enter the search to find the most popular pubs in the Black Country and Mid Staffordshire.
Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, who has owned the pub for 13 years, said it was 'wonderful' to win the title.
He said: "It was amazing. Last week someone mentioned that we're on the top so it was amazing."
"We're very grateful for the customers for choosing us and we're thankful for them.
"It will be good to get more business and we'll try our best to give customers what they require as we're already doing."
Mr Sidhu, who previously ran a wholesale milk business from 1990 to 2012, purchased The British Queen pub in 2005.
He said: "Someone bought it in 2004 and he ran it for five or six months, then I bought it.
"It was only a small business so I ended up abiding my time, spending a lot of money on refurbishments and the beer garden to build it up and slowly it comes to this."
He added: "You have to do the hard work. All the staff and myself, we try to do hard work to keep our customers and give them what they require so that we do our best."
Gerald Lloyd, joint licensee of runner-up pub The Knights Quest on High Street, Rowley Regis, said: "We're absolutely delighted.
"We realised that out of the number of pubs that compete and the standard of the pubs that compete, it means something to become runner up to them.
"The winner is very well run and a prominent business and we feel honoured to have come second to them."
Mr Lloyd has been involved with the pub for 15 years, ever since he and his wife saved it from demolition.
"We were both born locally and so we're returning to our roots.
"We took on a pub that was very run down and was near demolition - they had planning permission to knock it down.
"We persuaded them to let us convert it into The Knights Quest."
Mr Lloyd's uncle, Charlie, was manager for 24 years at pubs predecessor, The George and Dragon, and was an 'inspiration'.
Michael Westwood, company owner of third placed Waggon & Horses, Church Street, Oldbury, said: "We're really pleased honestly coming in the top three. A little bit gutted to be behind two places.
"Obviously to say we're a proper traditional pub, coming in third place is excellent.
"We're extremely grateful for the customers to vote for us and it's justification for all the hard work that's being done."