Carnforth landlord to take over at Lancaster quayside pub
A Carnforth landlord is to take over at a Lancaster pub later this year.
Bill Johnston has announced that he will be taking over the lease at the Wagon and Horses on St George's Quay.
He is currently in charge at The Canal Turn pub and was previously the managing director of The Bay - which also once had a base on the quay.
He will be taking over the Wagon and Horses from Paul Tarry and Carole Crossley, who recently announced they would be leaving the pub after almost a decade.
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Mr Johnston took over The Canal Turn in 2018.
But things turned sour earlier this year, when more than 1,300 people signed a petition to help him to stay in charge after he was given three months' notice to leave, more than a year before the end of his contract.
In a post on The Canal Turn Facebook page this week, Mr Johnston thanked "the amazing support from customers, staff and the wider community".
"Despite asking for, and wanting, an ongoing renewal of my agreement it wasn't to be," he said.
"Since then, with time on my side and with no eviction threat, I've had to look longer term, beyond May 2023, and my own future. In the last few days I've signed 'heads of terms' on a new lease taking over the Wagon & Horses Pub & Dining venue in Lancaster.
"The exciting opportunity wouldn't have been available next year.
"It's a fantastic venue, area and community I know very well from my previous radio days. I'll be taking over from Paul and Carole who have built up an amazing site over 10 years. They really will be a tough act to follow.
"Although the timescales are all subject to change, the notice I've had to give to exit The Canal Turn would take me to the end of September.
"My priority is with my amazing team of 18 staff. The requirements of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) will apply with the change in control. I am consulting with all of my team and have a full meeting this Saturday with them all.
"Thanks so much to everyone for their amazing support and custom since I took over The Canal Turn in 2018. We've made incredible happy memories together and I've made so many friends. I will miss everyone immensely.
"In the meantime, it's very much 'business as usual' and the team and I look forward to seeing and serving you all soon."
Paul and Carole posted on the Wagon and Horses page last month to announce they would be leaving.
"Age is getting the better of us and we just need time to relax after a few gruelling years," they said.
"We have loved every minute being here and loved the friendships we have built up.
"We don’t have a definite date for leaving but plan to be out by autumn.
"Thanks to all our customers for giving us so many happy times and we hope you all will have equal happy memories of our decade here."