Town centre landlord sells up – to become a bus driver

Another week, and another Croydon pub landlord has decided he’s had enough and is selling up.

The Bull’s Head, just off Croydon High Street. Soon to be under new management

John McFarlane has been the landlord of The Bull’s Head, in the town centre on the corner of Wandle Road and Laud Street, for 16 years.

The pub is an old-fashioned boozer, with a single bar area, and no room for any poncy gastro grub or other such nonsense. It does possess possibly one of the biggest white light Christmas trees stuck on its roof of any pub in Croydon.

McFarlane attracted the attention of the national media in 2013 after he had his pub painted red and blue, the colours of Crystal Palace, when he lost a bet to an Eagles fan and pub regular over the club winning promotion.

But McFarlane’s pub has not been pulling in enough regulars in recent times, and the landlord has sold his licence.

John McFarlane: given up the pub trade to drive a bus

“I’m going to drive buses,” he told Inside Croydon this week.

“I’ll make more money that way.”

McFarlane says that his pub’s trade has suffered badly since Leon House, the large office block just the other side of Croydon High Street, closed last year for conversion into 263 flats… or “luxury apartments”, with one-bed homes on the market at £352,000.

At least The Bull’s Head has been spared, for now, the fate of so many struggling pubs, and is not likely to be redeveloped into flats itself. It will continue to operate as a pub, as the licence has been taken on by an enterprising pair of Caribbean women, according to McFarlane.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Town centre landlord sells up – to become a bus driver

  1. sed30 says:

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