Friends hope to conquer Harold Hill pub’s bad reputation

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:16 10 March 2017

The new owners of the William the Conqueror pub, Kyla Cox, Grace Gilbey, and Jessica Walker.

The new owners of the William the Conqueror pub, Kyla Cox, Grace Gilbey, and Jessica Walker.


A young female publican has taken over a previously run-down down boozer and hopes to transform the venue into a community hub with the help of her friends.

The pub has reopened after closing down last year.The pub has reopened after closing down last year.

Kyla Cox, 30, has been working in the trade for a decade in Basildon, Essex, and has now taken over the William The Conqueror pub, in Petersfield Avenue, Harold Hill, after years of trying to obtain the lease.

“I’ve been looking at it for a few years but unfortunately at the time someone else purchased it,” Kyla told the Recorder.

“When the pub came back up for sale I leased with the brewery but because of my age they were a bit reluctant.

“They said that I sold myself to them and I was able to purchase the pub.”

Paige Gittens, Jessica Walker and Grace Gilbey will help run the pub and, while they have no experience in the industry, Kyla says they’re the perfect team.

“I’ve been in the trade for ten years, I stumbled across it and so did the girls and now we all work together pursuing the dream – it’s something they’ve never done before.

“Working alongside them we are like a jigsaw puzzle and we cover aspect of the trade.

“We’ve gone quite family orientated but it is still a local pub – we’re just giving it a female touch.”

Complete with Sky Sports, a pool table and plenty of games to keep children entertained, Kyla, hopes to prove to local customers that she is the right woman for the job.

Since the first weekend we are getting our regulars back and the community are really supporting the opening.

“They were shocked to see it was a female owning the place and due to the fact it has a bit of history they were a bit sceptical someone like me could pursue it in such an environment.

“Now they’ve got to know me they’re looking forward to seeing what I’ve got up my sleeve.

“There’s a big community spirit with loads of nice people willing to help us make it work.”

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