US senators drop into Saffron Walden pub

Jeff Leach (centre) with senator Pat Roberts and wife Franki (left), senator James M.Inhofe and wife

Jeff Leach (centre) with senator Pat Roberts and wife Franki (left), senator James M.Inhofe and wife Kay (right) and senator Roger Wicker and wife Gayle (front). Also pictured are bar staff Michelle Millington (left) and Hannah Gavin (right). - Credit: Archant

A Saffron Walden pub received a surprise visit from three Republican US senators after a chance meeting with the landlord in the Market Square.

Jeff Leach, landlord of the Old English Gentleman in Gold Street, was stopped and asked if he could recommend a good pub in town on Wednesday, July 13.

Mr Leach told the American tourists that his own pub would be happy to accommodate them, and telephoned ahead to tell his staff to expect some visitors from overseas while he went to the bank.

On his return, he got chatting to the group and discovered his patrons were James M Inhofe, senator for Oklahoma, Roger Wicker, senator for Mississippi and Pat Roberts, senator for Kansas, along with their wives.

The US politicans had attended the Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford at the weekend, and their flight back to America had been delayed due to an issue with their plane.

The Saffron Walden landlord was pleased to be able to accommodate the American visitors as well as give them their first taste of a pork pie.

Mr Leach said: “I was just on my way to the bank and an American guy asked me where the market was. I told him the market is only there Tuesdays and Saturdays and he was disappointed.

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“He then asked if I knew a good pub in town and I said they were welcome to visit mine. I got stuck at the bank for about 20 minutes but when I got back I got chatting and found out who they were.

“They were over here for the air show at Duxford and were supposed to fly back the day before from Stansted but there was a problem with their military plane so they had a day to kill.

“They were all very nice, although they winced when I said I liked Hilary Clinton as they’re all Donald Trump supporters.

“They liked the food, and mentioned how they had never had a pork pie before. When I asked for a picture, they said, ‘No, we want a picture with you, we love it here.’”