An award-winning pub in Bury St Edmunds has reached the end of an era as its landlords retired after 33 years.

Liz and Tony Fayers have leased The Rose & Crown in Westgate Street from Greene King since 1986 and just this year the pub was voted Suffolk Pub of the Year by CAMRA members.

The couple’s last full day at the pub was Monday 16 September before handing over the running of the pub to new partner Gordon Graham-Hill the next day.

Liz and Tony’s link to the pub actually stretches back to 1975, as it was previously run by Liz’s parents John and Win Ward.

Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton presented Liz and Tony with a commemorative plaque on their final day on behalf of Greene King, in thanks for all their years of running the pub, as well as an annual racing pass to courses throughout the UK – a hobby that they are looking forward to enjoying in their retirement.

Situated just a stone’s throw from Greene King’s historic brewery, The Rose & Crown has been renowned for years for the quality of its cask ales, including Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale and Greene King XX Mild.

Liz and Tony said they decided to retire at the start of the year, but kept their decision quiet until recently when they settled on a leaving date, allowing them the opportunity to tell their customers in person.

Liz said: “It is emotional to retire after so many years. We’ve got to the point now where we’re serving the grandchildren of customers from when we arrived 30 years ago.

“The thing we will miss the most is our customers. We’ve done more than serving them pints. We’ve listened to them, I always say we’re like counsellors or advisors – we’re always there if they want a chat.”

Wayne Shurvinton, Greene King Pub Partners managing director, said: “Liz and Tony are rightly celebrated in Bury St Edmunds as two of the best publicans around. They have run an outstanding pub, beloved by customers and the wider community, for more than 30 years.

“They have been outstanding Greene King tenants and we’re sorry to see them leave but equally would like to thank them for all their amazing work over the years.

“The ways in which they have inspired such passionate support from customers with the quality of their beers and embedded their pub at the heart of their community are truly inspirational examples for publicans to aspire to. Everyone at Greene King wishes them a long and happy retirement together.

“We’d also like to welcome Gordon Graham-Hall, who has taken over the tenancy at the Rose & Crown. We wish him all the best and I’m sure he will be warmly welcomed by customers.”