THE mayor of Southend helped open a new family pub yesterday.

Mayor Chris Walker joined manager Dave Mortlock and members of the Saxon King in Priory Park group, to formally open the 180- seat Saxon King pub, in Priory Crescent.

The pub will serve freshly-cooked rotisserie chicken every day and offers a children’s play area.

Mr Mortlock said: “We have had lots of support from the locals and it looks like it will be very busy. The team are really excited about all our new customers this week and we will do our best to deliver great food and service.”

Skipp successfully campaigned for Marston’s Inns and Taverns, the pub owners, to change the name from the Saxon Prince to Saxon King.

The mayor celebrated the opening by sharing a drink with the staff and SKIPP members.

Mr Walker said: “The pub is in a perfect location with a dedicated pedestrian crossing from Priory Park so people can wander over and sit in the sun having a drink.

“I like what they’ve done and they’ve done it very quickly. It’s very impressive.”