THE new landlord of a pub is determined to make it return to the heart of the community again.

Pete Jackson has special memories at the Rishton Arms, which was formerly The Station pub, as it was the first place he ever had a pint nearly 30 years ago.

So, the 46-year-old was overjoyed when he was able to get behind the bar after recently completing a £35k makeover of the Station Road pub.

He said: “It has been going really well as we spent six weeks doing the refurbishment plan to get it back to its former glory.

“So we have put in new floors, re-plastered and worked on the pool room.

“The reaction has been great from the visitors and the first few weeks have been positive but we just have to wait to see what happens if any further lockdown comes.

“It would probably make us the shortest takeover of a pub before closing (for lockdown).

“Everybody has been coming down and we have been keeping to the guidelines of shutting for 10pm.”

Pete has been still carrying on his day job working in a local IT firm but he has a history in the pub industry.

He added: “I had a few pubs but it was 15 years ago and I maintained I would not go back to do it. But when I drove past ‘The Station’ a few months ago I saw it was empty so thought 'what if?'

“It is the only pub I would have thought about taking over as it was the first place I had a pint. There was a couple who worked there called Alan and Rita and I called them Uncle and Auntie as they were related to one of my mates Brian Chippendale.

“He has actually been helping me with the refurbishment too and I have invested a lot of money in it and I won’t stop investing in it.

“Our customers have been in saying that it is great to get their pub back.

“It has been great having one of the former landlords in every week telling me about the pub and where things are. When you get a pub you normally have someone there to tell you what is what but it was empty so to have Ian Astley to talk about XY and Z has been great.”