Pub for sale comes with resident parrot

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Basil enjoys a pint with owner Alan
Basil enjoys a pint with owner Alan

By Cara Sulieman

THE NEW owner of a pub in East Lothian will get more than they bargained for when they pick up the keys – as the bar comes will a resident parrot.

Basil has lived in the Pheasant Hotel in Haddington for 28 years and has become a regular fixture next to the pool table.

But now his owner Alan Crawford is selling up and moving on, and doesn’t think that Basil will like the new quiet lifestyle he has planned.

So he’s hoping that whoever takes over at the bar will accept the bird as a part and parcel of the deal.

“Loves company”

Alan said: “I hope that whoever buys the place will keep him here, as he’s become something of an attraction.

“Before the smoking ban came in I did take him home as I thought the smoke might affect his health.

“But he loves company and couldn’t settle, so I brought him back.

“I will be spending an increasing amount of time at my second home in Spain, so if the new owner of The Pheasant doesn’t want him, I will give him away to a good home.”

Doesn’t swear

Basil’s cheeky messages and whistles led to the regulars naming him after TV’s Basil Fawlty – although he isn’t allowed to swear.

Alan said: “Whoever gets ‘Basil’ will be getting a great pet. He doesn’t swear – I don’t allow swearing in my pub – although he does like to wolf-whistle.

“He’s got quite a big vocabulary, but I still don’t know what sex he or she really is.

“I suspect he’s really a she, as he talks nearly all the time.”

Re-development

And the run down boozer has had a lot of interest from developers and potential landlords.

Alan has owned the bar since 1977 and it has been a popular drinking hole despite the work that needs done.

A three story building, the top two aren’t used as they are falling apart and need renovated.

The estate agents selling the pub think that it is likely to be bought by a developer – leaving poor Basil’s future hanging in the balance.

A Christie and Co spokesman said: “This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to redevelop this site possibly for mixed-use development.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder how many parrots will have to die from this gentlemen’s bad example. Alcohol kills parrots. A pub is not a good home for them. I hope Basil finds a responsible new owner. One with any sense of these animals needs.

  2. Hello, my name is Andrea Frost. My mother in law, Jean MacKinlay Frost was born in your building when it was an inn. Her father’s family owned the Pub and Inn back then when it was called the Black Bull. It is said that her father, George MacKinlay lost the place through gambling. I was there about 18 years ago and wanted to come in and ask if anyone remembered the true story, but could not get my nerve up. I was also wondering if you have any sign from the building with the name Black Bull that you do not use. If you do and would consider getting rid of it, please let me know. We live in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. My mother in law’s cousin, Effie Bowman, still lives in Haddington. I am hoping to return in October of this year. If I could, I would purchase the Pheasant from you and keep Basil right where he is. Thank you, Andrea Frost

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