Pub landlady 'couldn't be happier' after marking 30 years in charge

Maija Cartwright of The Chequers pub in Sutton

Maija Cartwright said she could not be happier as she marked 30 years as landlady at The Chequers pub in Sutton. - Credit: Admiral Taverns

A woman who has marked 30 years in charge of a village pub said she “can’t wait to see what the future brings”. 

Maija Cartwright went into hospitality with her late husband in the 1980s before taking over The Chequers, Sutton in 1992. 

After her husband’s death, Maija has continued to run the pub herself as the venue has become a staple of village life. 

“A lot has changed since taking over, but I couldn’t be happier to be celebrating 30 years at the pub with all my fantastic customers and friends,” said Maija.  

“I love it here and can’t wait to see what the future brings.”   

Maija was visited by pub company Admiral Taverns, who own The Chequers, on July 16 which is the day she became the pub’s licensee. 

And as part of the visit, Maija received a certificate of achievement, flowers, champagne and a gift voucher to recognise her loyal service. 

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“The last 30 years at The Chequers have been amazing!” Maija added.  

“I am so grateful to my team, the local community and to Admiral Taverns for all their support.” 

The Chequers pub in Sutton

One of the key challenges The Chequers in Sutton has faced is Covid-19 lockdowns, particularly in late 2020. - Credit: Facebook/The Chequers

One of the major challenges Maija has faced at The Chequers is the Covid-19 pandemic, when the pub was fearing closure

Fears mounted when the government announced Tier 2 restrictions for East Cambridgeshire in November 2020, which meant alcohol could only be served as part of a ‘substantial meal’. 

At the time, the pub said: “As we are a small village pub, it looks like we will be closing down unless we get support from the village to keep us open. 

“We understand that people don’t want to eat every night, but we need to do something to keep open.” 

But Maija and The Chequers overcame that challenge, with customers now treated to the likes of monthly charity quiz nights and themed events such as ‘steak and kidney pudding night’. 

Jean-Paul Russek, Admiral Taverns’ business development manager, praised Maija for her work. 

“A huge congratulations to Maija for reaching this milestone!” he said. 

“It has been a privilege working with her to make The Chequers a long-term sustainable business and we wish Maija the best for the future.”