A landlady of a multiple award-winning pub will pull her last pint after 17 years.
Jean Baxter, from the Victoria Hotel on St John’s Street in Great Harwood, will retire on Monday, September 12 after taking over the 111-year-old pub in 1999 following the death of her husband, Stephen.
The grandmother-of-ten, 70, who was a nurse before becoming a landlady, has seen the pub win 15 awards over the years including Most Improved Pub and Pub of The Year, in 2014, but now she is calling time on her career.
She said: “I’ll miss the socialising part of my job and all the regulars but I’ll still pop in.
“I don’t get a full day off - only nights off - and it’s just getting hard work now on my own.”
Jean, who is originally from Lancaster but has lived in Great Harwood for 40 years, lived across the road from the pub when she decided to take it over.
But she has lived above it for the time she has been landlady there.
She said: “I was a nurse in Lancaster before but when my husband died I decided to change career.
“I could run about then and my daughter, Debbie, ran the pub with me at first but then she had children and it became too much for her.
“I’m looking forward now to spending more time with my grandchildren as I’ve missed out on that really since working here.
“It’ll be hard not clock watching though.”
The pub, a Grade II-listed building, is the only East Lancashire pub listed in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)’s new edition of Britain’s Best Real Heritage Pubs.
The pub will also feature in Camra’s Good Beer Guide next year.
Its distinctive Art Nouveau decor with green and cream tiles and a horseshoe shaped bar is a second home for many regulars and has even seen TV actor Dominic Brunt, who plays Emmerdale’s Paddy Kirk, pop in for a pint.
As for Jean, her favourite tipple is a Porter or a Stout ale.
She said: “I like to have one to socialise.”
The owner of the pub, Phil Entwistle, will take over the pub when Jean leaves.
Jean’s daughter, Debbie, 51, said: “I don’t know how she’s done it over the years - and by herself.
“I wouldn’t know where to start!”
She added: “It’s time for her to enjoy herself now though.”