One of Leamington’s oldest pubs is to get a change of landlord - only the tenth since it was first recorded in 1880 as an inn.
Nick Ford is calling time at the Talbot Inn after nearly eight years at the free-house in Rushmore Street.
Known as a traditional “back-street boozer”, it is famed for its selection of real ales, and tenant Nick is proud of the fact that it has been in the Camra Good Beer Guide for the last six years.
But he has decided not to renew the lease and will finish at the pub on May 30.
And despite rumours that it will be turned into homes, Nick said the new owner has bought the fixtures and fittings, even down to the bar piano, curtains and beer garden furniture.
Nick, aged 39, said: “It’s time to move on. I have really enjoyed my time here but now I want to have more family time.
“I have got a young family, there are 12-hour days and it’s time to do something else. I want to go to bed on the same day that I got up.”
Nick has worked in the licensed trade since aged 14, including the private members Farmers Club, now the site of a block on flats in Newbold Terrace East, the Cricketers Arms, Leamington, and the Bull in Weston-under-Wetherley.
The former pupil at Park Hall, North Leamington School, is a keen Brakes fan and has pennants and a framed football shirt from the successful 2006-07 double-winning season behind the bar.
Some Brakes fans meet at the pub before games and because of its reputation for real ales, away-fans also turn up.
Nick, who is married with three children, said: “I wanted to run a pub and this was available. The reason I liked it is because it’s a back-street boozer and there’s not many of them left.
“The new owner has bought the pub, the fixtures and fittings – the lot.
“I would love it to continue as a pub, but if it will, I don’t know.
“Back-street pubs were once the cornerstone of England, but the small pubs find it harder all the time to compete with the chains.”
Along with his wife Michelle, they refurbished the pub a few months after the legendary Hector Ashwood and his wife Barbara left. They ran it for 30 years.
In fact, many who have not been in the pub for years still refer to it as Hector’s, and years earlier it was referred to as Mickie’s.
Mickie Fathers was landlord from 1919 until 1951.