Local Faces: David & Linda Funnell

  |  Published: Sep 1st 2006

Regulars at the Red Lion have already discovered that the "new" landlord and landlady are two very safe pairs of hands. And so they should be with over 30 years experience in the pub and hotel business!

Their most recent experience was in Yorkshire at the Owl Hotel in the village of Hambleton, and prior to that The Balmoral Hotel in Harrogate. David and Linda also ran a very successful old country pub just outside Harrogate so they feel quite at home at the Red Lion. In fact, they were initially reluctant to move South because the Yorkshire countryside and ambiance were so pleasant but once David and Linda Funnell came to Wendover they immediately recognised that this is a community with a heart; the Red Lion is that heart and that is where they want to be. The Chiltern Hills around complement the scene perfectly and so they have been in our midst since the middle of May.

David started in the hotel business when he left school and the very thorough training of those days took him through all the positions from Hall Porter to the kitchens right up to Hotel Manager. His experience includes the Reform Club in Pall Mall and The National Liberal Club in Whitehall as well as hotels in Canada and USA and some time serving on ships in the Merchant Navy.

Linda met David thirty years ago when he was home on a trip from Canada and it did not take long for them to become a team. David enjoys the glory of being the front man but has always maintained that he could not do the job without Linda, she is his rock.

Once they discovered the Red Lion, David and Linda couldn't wait to come and meet the people of Wendover. It has lived up to every expectation and they like it more and more as they get to know the premises and people. One of the highlights is, of course, working with Dolly who can fill in on events at the Red Lion since 1940 when she started work there! David says it is a privilege to employ such a wonderful lady, she is an absolute star!

The Red Lion has been serving Wendover since the 16th century. Its most famous 17th century visitor was Oliver Cromwell whose name adorns the modern dining room. In the 19th century Robert Louis Stevenson stayed there and many stars of stage and screen have passed through in recent years, especially since they started using Halton House as a filming location.

David and Linda have already repainted the notice board in the coaching entrance and welcome Community Notices.

The Red Lion is a comfortable meeting place for corporate functions, the meetings of local organisations or family gatherings. Please contact them on 01296 622266 or email redlionhotel.wendover@pathfinderpubs.co.uk. You can also look them up on their website www.redlion-wendover.co.uk. David and Linda are always prepared to discuss how to fulfil your needs.

Regulars will know that the bar and restaurant have undergone a recent facelift. David and Linda are instigating a major refurbishment of all the rooms starting in January. All bathrooms will be fully modernised but the style of the bedrooms will remain in a character sympathetic to their heritage.

Meanwhile, pop down to the Red Lion and get to know David and Linda.

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