Two of Hyndburn’s longest serving landlords are to retire after 33 years in the pub trade.
Award-winning Maureen and Bob Smith, who run The Plough on Queen Street, Great Harwood will pull their last pint on July 31.
The couple, who have been married for nearly 45 years and have two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, have run the town centre pub for 19 years and previously ran The Walmsley Arms for 14 years.
Over the last three decades they have also raised more than £200,000 for various charities and last year were selected from 1,100 pub operators to receive a lifetime achievement award run by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars.
Maureen, who previously worked for Oxo and as a nursery nurse, said she ‘never wanted’ to run a pub when she first started but admits she will now be ‘very sad’ to retire.
She said: “It’s been an amazing time. We have made so many friends and had so many good memories.
“We have had some ups and downs but we can look back on really good times. I keep saying I will have to write a book about it but I think I would have to leave town.
“We are definitely going to miss it. It’s very sad to think we are not going to meet all these people.
“It’s a really good community pub and so many have come in and stopped us on the street to say they are sorry to see us go. It makes you feel really sad but it’s time to retire.”
Maureen, 65, said they have had many loyal customers over the years and they will have to have a ‘really good leaving party’.
She said: “I remember having Christening parties in the Walmsley and now we have having parties in The Plough for the child of those who were Christened all those years ago. We have seen all these people grow up from being nice daft teenagers like we all are to responsible adults.”
Maureen said they will both be staying in Great Harwood when they retire. She said: “We keep saying we can’t go from 24/7 to nothing. We will be getting involved with local groups.”