A HODDLESDEN pub, which underwent a £100,000 refurbishment earlier this year, is to change hands as its landlord battles cancer.

Jim Cozens, from The Ranken Arms, paid tribute to villagers who had helped ‘re-energise’ the Queen Street venue.


Mr Cozens’ wife, Sand-ra, and step-daughter, Kelly, who have managed the pub since its re-launch in March, will step down early next month in order to care for him.

Nick Parker, who runs The Dog Inn, in Belthorn, will take over at the Ranken from November 10.

Mr Cozens, 57, who described himself as being ‘riddled with can-cer’, said it left ‘a bitter taste’ to hand over the pub so soon after the investment.

He said: “I’m having an operation on November 26. It came out of the blue. I collapsed and ended up in hospital but it took them a while to find out what was going on.

“I was diagnosed ini-tially in August and had it confirmed in Sept-ember. Sandra does the kitchen and Kelly the bar but when you take one-third of the workforce out it makes it an impossibility.

“We’ve made it a destination pub. People came from all over Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire to eat and drink here. The girls are putting every effort into this Sunday for the final day of serving food. We don’t know if it will be open for wet sales next week.

“We can look back at a lot of fond memories here.”

More than 150 VIPs attended the grand re-opening of the Thwaites pub in March, with 2,000 customers passing thr-ough the door in its first month.

Mrs Cozens, 48, said: “It has been a rollercoaster time at the Ranken Ar-ms, but we are very proud of the refurbish-ment we achieved and the significant uplift of the pub's profile and our entertainment events.

“However, we are devastated that we have been unable to fulfil our five-year plan, but you never know when life throws a curved ball at you.”