By now, you may well have heard rumours that Ali and I are leaving, and you may have heard that the pub is closing. So let’s dispel the latter part of this first: to the best of my knowledge, the pub will not close. Now let’s cover the first part of this rumour: yes, with great sadness I have to announce that it is true. After eight years at the helm of The Tharp Arms, Ali and I have decided that it is time to move on.
There are many factors that have swayed us to make this decision. There’s no point in denying money isn’t involved – this industry is tough for anybody in it at the moment, no matter where you sit in the beer chain and, after battling through the worst of Britain’s multiple recessions, we’d like the opportunity to look at other options. Malachy and Jacob are getting older – it’s hard to think they were just 5 and 2 when we moved in and, last week (as I write), Malachy became a teenager.
Both boys have grown up here and, as a family, we’ve lived and worked together in an environment we love; but now, it’s time to give them some of our attention.
Most importantly, though, I have been offered the chance to work with a company that specialises in online marketing for the pub trade. It’s an area I’ve been working in as a consultant and author for some time now and so it’s an opportunity I want to explore further. It would be unfair on the pub or my new employer to try and dilute my time between the two.
So the decision to leave is fuelled by positivity. And we’re not moving too far – we’ll still be local and hope that we’ll be able to return to meet up with the many friends, some who have become as close as family, we’ve made over the years.
I also think the pub needs the change. It is time for somebody different to come in, to try new, fresh ideas and I truly hope that you’ll all support whoever buys in to the business. A village local cannot survive without the support of its community and much as I personally dislike the phrase, there is a strong case for the argument ‘use it or lose it’.
Of course, we cannot say goodbye without saying thank you to the many people who have helped us over the years. Our staff, our friends, our customers new and old. The list is too long, this time, to put in this column but many of you will know who they are and their support has been invaluable.
And we can’t leave without a party. Our official final day is Sunday 28th April, so please do join us on Saturday 27th April for a bit of a bash. But be warned: you are likely to see me cry.
Mark J Daniels
Licensee – The Tharp Arms