Riches-to-rags-to-riches tale of South Croydon publican

Inside Croydon

The redemptive quality of rags to riches tales never fails to fascinate and inspire. In the case of Austin “John” Whelan, though, his story goes around a full circle again – from rags to riches to rags, and then back to riches – as he admits that after working hard through his 20s to “have it all”, he “fucked up, made wrong decisions wrong judgements, I didn’t have any respect for myself so I didn’t have any for other people either”.

Bad company: apparently, they will serve anyone at least one pint in Whelans pubs, even the local MP…

Only a rare moment of clarity – at 3am on a New Year’s morning, as it happens – helped Whelan realise what he needed to do to turn things around.

This week, Whelan announced ambitious plans to spend £400,000 on the disused South Croydon pub The Baskerville, and transform it…

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