A REAL ale champion is running his first East Lancashire pub after more than four decades working as an accountant.

Until recently John Ingham divided his time between a full-time job and role as chairman of the local Campaign for Real Ale branch.

But he is now devoting himself to serving punters at the Rising Sun Inn, in Gisburn Road, Blacko, where he is the new landlord.

And he said he intends to use all the tips he has picked up while working with licensees through CAMRA to make the watering hole a huge success.

John, 61, worked as an accountant from the age of 18 to just weeks ago, most recently at a firm in Haslingden.

But he has also been a member of East Lancs CAMRA since it was established in 1974.

He said: “It is not something I have always wanted to do, but my partner Kelly has had the George and Dragon in Barrowford for the past four years and I have helped out there, looking after the beer and doing some cellar work.

“I rang David Grant, the boss at Moorhouse’s and asked him if I could take the pub on and make some improvements.”

John, from Padiham, said he used to walk down to the pub when he was in Barrowford for an occasional pint.

And he believes he has all the right ingredients, which include a “unique selling point” to make it a success again.

He said: “I think we’re the only pub left in Pendle serving stew and hard, a local delicacy made from potted beef, lashings of onions and oatcakes.

"I’m used to being on the other side of the bar – it’s a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, but the locals are trickling back in.”

John has a three-year lease on the pub and hopes to see out his working life as its landlord.

A guest beer will also be introduced to complement cask ales including Black Cat, Pride of Pendle and Blond Witch.