Mel and Colin Roberson landlords at The Saracen’s Head celebrated their 25th anniversary at the pub on Sunday afternoon.
Mel and Colin came to The Saracen’s Head from running a pub in Mortimer near Reading for 7 years with daughter, Charlotte who was only 6 months old at the time. Mel comments, “I didn’t want to come to Henley as I hate change and I was so sad but within a few days I’d met so many Mums and people.”
Mel added, “It was incredible on Sunday. We had an amazing turnout and a most wonderful day celebrating with our customers and staff. Over the years we’ve made some wonderful friends and it’s a real privilege to run this pub. It’s lovely to have Charlotte’s friends who she went to school with coming to the pub now. There’s been lots of highlights over the years, the best one must be of course Ed Sheeran doing the Ale Trail in 2019 but others include winning the Brakspear Golf Day in 2018, winning Henley in Bloom best pub Garden competition in 2015, 2016 and 2019 and perhaps the unfortunate highlight was the chimney fire in 2017 but the local fire service were amazing and we reopened the next day.”
Brakspear presented the couple with a special anniversary beer pump handle with their names on. Emma Sweet, Brakspear Marketing Manager said “It’s an amazing achievement to manage 25 years in a pub. Mel and Colin are part of the fabric of Henley and the Saracen’s is such a welcoming pub. It’s often quoted as being the favourite pub from those who complete the Henley Ale Trail and this is all down to the friendly vibe this pub has. It’s now become known as the best place to watch any live sport that’s on as well. The creative use of the garden outside and the big screen has really made a big impact and ensured the Saracen’s is the place to go.” Mel added, “Brakspear have been really good and they are there for you when you need them.”
The pub hasn’t changed much over the 25 years in terms of style with many original customers but it has become synonymous with sport both playing and watching. The pub has a darts team, a pool table and a boules pitch that was installed in July 2020 and there’s always a good crowd watching sport over the weekend on the TV screens. They’ve also hosted charity golf days raising thousands of pounds for charity. In February this year, Mel won a Sky Sports prize for the pub to be filmed for a TV advert with many regulars featuring in it.
Customer Nigel Geary said, “Colin and Mel always give a warm welcome. It’s a good family pub and I like to come and watch all the big football and rugby matches on the TV here. I’ve never known anyone to stay in a pub for such a long time. Nigel’s daughter, Becky added, “They are such lovely people and very inviting for you to come in.”