Express & Star

The town centre pub run by a landlord who returned home to manage his local

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Express & Star continues its Love Your Local series which celebrates our local inns.

Terry Cope said it was a full circle moment for him to run the pub he used to frequent

Sometimes, it takes someone who drank in a pub for years to truly understand how it works.

This is the case for the Bird in Hand in Stafford, which has been under the stewardship of landlords Terry and Dee Cope for seven years since being refurbished and reopened by Black Country Ales in 2017.

For Terry, the pub has been a part of his life since he was a young man drinking there in the 1970s, a period he admitted was part of the chequered past for the pub on Victoria Square.

He remembers: "It has got a chequered history, if I'm honest, with most of us who went to college in Stafford drinking in there at some point during the 60s and 70s.

"It was frequented quite a lot by the RAF when they were based in Stafford, as well as the Chains pub as a Forces pub and it's had a chequered and tough time over the last 20 years, opening and closing."

Terry has been in the industry for 40 years after moving out of Stafford as a 17-year-old, going on to run pubs in London and the east of the country. But he jumped at the opportunity to return and take charge of his home town boozer.

He says that after he and Dee moved in, they began working to put their own touches to the pub.

The pub has a warming feel to it, with plenty of space for people to sit and stand