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McManus Pub Company renovates original pub to celebrate 50 years in business

The owners of the Thomas a Becket, McManus Pub Company, have marked their 50th year in business by investing a six-figure sum into renovating the historic building.

Located on St James’ Road, the venue is one of 18 pubs owned by the Northamptonshire group. It was the very first public house to be purchased by the family in March 1970.

It was bought by Mick and Anne McManus, who moved their five-child family into the venue, balancing parenthood with their new venture as publicans, before retiring in 1998.

The pub’s popularity grew, and the McManus family acquired more sites in and around Northamptonshire. In 1989, eldest son Gary took over the family business with younger brother Paul and together they continued to invest into the industry. Now the company owns pubs in Northampton and Leigh-on-Sea.

Gary said: “The Thomas A Becket is where it all started for us. The pub industry is in our blood and we are proud to not only serve the town but to have become such an important part of the Jimmy’s End community.

“The renovation was a huge project for us, and we felt revamping our very first pub was a great way to mark our 50th birthday. Before we did anything, we spoke to our regular customers to find out what they wanted in their favourite drinking establishment and we’re confident the finished product will reflect the venue they’ve requested.

“it is a huge achievement to have been in business for 50 years and we’re very hopeful that the next generation of McManus’ will continue to keep our doors open for another 50.”

The Thomas A Becket pub is named after Saint Thomas of Canterbury, who was summoned to appear before the great council at Northampton Castle in 1164. There he was found guilty of contempt of royal authority and malfeasance in the Chancellor’s office.

It has been run by Michelle and Richard Cutler for more than a decade. Known to locals as Aussie, Richard said: “We love this pub and all its customers. Being in the pub industry is the best business in the world. It’s also great to be a part of the McManus Pub Company as we really are one big, happy family.

“It’s a huge honour to run the company’s original pub and we’re looking forward to celebrating with all our customers, old and new.

Over the years the pub has earned its reputation for hosting some of Northampton’s finest musicians and bands. The increased capacity and new stage area, with state-of-the-art sound system, will take its live music offering to the next level.

Due to its location close to Franklin’s Gardens and Sixfields the Becket has become one of the most popular pubs for supporters to visit before and after games. We’re huge Saints & Cobblers fans and will ensure the Becket remains a special place to come for home and away fans on every match day.

This most recent renovation follows on from refurbishments at the Sun Inn Hardingstone, and the Crown & Anchor on Victoria Road, with further works planned for 2020 at the Shipman’s in the Drapery and the Wig & Pen in St Giles Street.