Well, it finally arrived, my last weekend as licensee of the York Hotel - and what a roller coaster it’s been.
All our staff and close friends said a sad farewell on Saturday night as we reminisced about the past ten years. At times it was hard not to suppress a tear.
It is so hard to believe we were able to turn around what had sadly become a pretty rough pub. My mum and dad drank in the York when I lived on Lancaster Road. It was a true locals’ pub then - everyone in the area supported it.
For me it was the dream position. Remember, back then I was one of Morecambe FC’s furthest travelling fans when I was living in Warminster. Now I was a ten minute walk from Christie Park and in the dream job - running a pub.
Those were heady days as we tried to win over some of the reluctant locals who, unfortunately for us, imagined the place was a haven for undesirables - it took time. On ‘Football Saturdays’ the bar would be four or five deep with both home and away fans, cheerfully served by five or six staff, all girls and all wearing the club’s shirt. There was never any trouble.
We tried something radical for a good number of years and that was providing a menu - Lynn and her staff worked tirelessly to gain a reputation for good, honest, wholesome and home cooked food. There were great days but they were tempered by a lack of enthusiasm among the locals to come out and support a local person who had attempted to make a go of it.
Nevertheless, our function offerings always went down well with the introduction of food theme quiz nights we certainly set the pace. Throughout all these years there has been a loyal following of customers, many now our lifelong friends. We have been asked on many occasions to stay on but there comes a time in life when you know it’s the right time to move.
We are leaving on a high and allowing another licensee to walk straight in and start trading. Something we couldn’t do ten years ago.