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Ribble Valley landlord leaves to concentrate on festival plans
THE landlord of a 17th century Ribble Valley pub is leaving after 10 years of pulling pints.
Simon Forster, who has been at the Aspinall Arms, in Mitton Road, Mitton, since 2002 is going on to pastures new.
But not before a special celebration organised and funded by some of his regulars.
The 40-year-old, who has lived in the village since he was a child, said it was time to move on after the pub’s owners told him they were wanted to find a landlord who was prepared to develop former farm buildings on the site’s car park into accommodation.
Simon said: “I did want to stay here for a while, but the people who run it are looking to get new people in to develop the outbuildings into accommodation and maybe a micro brewery.
“After 10 years of being here and putting in a lot of hard work, I am disappointed.”
Simon will now be focusing on organising music and beer festivals across the North West and will also continue with the Middle Earth festival, which has been running since 2009 and celebrates the area’s link with The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien.
He said: “I have loved it here, you could not get a better spot.
“The people are great and I could not have picked a better pub.”
Some of the regular visitors to the Aspinall Arms wanted to show their appreciation for all of Simon’s hard work and have organised a farewell party, which will feature a performance by soul band Big Baby Ernie.
The group will be flying over from the USA especially for the celebration farewell party, at Hurst Green Village Hall on Saturday.
Tickets are £10 and are available from www.aspinallarms.co.uk