End of an era for Kirkby-in-Ashfield pub duo

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A husband and wife team, who have managed the Badger Box Hungry Horse pub in Kirkby-in-Ashfield for 36 years, have decided to hang up their bar towels for the last time and look forward to enjoying their retirement.

Ian and Glenis Rooks started managing pubs in March 1979 and after various relief roles were moved into the Badger Box in Derby Road in September of the same year.

Thirty-six years on they have decided it is time to retire and are moving to Forest Town near Mansfield. The couple have no specific plans for their retirement, other than enjoying their free time.

Ian said: “The customers at the Badger Box are absolutely brilliant and we will really miss seeing them and catching up with them. We will also miss the team and our Hungry Horse colleagues but we feel ready to step down now, though Glenis has said she might still help out behind the bar every now and again!”

During their time in the pub Ian and Glenis have seen a lot of changes. In 1979 the pub consisted of three separate rooms; a public bar, a smoke room and the lounge, but since then the pub has had two extensions and is now open plan and has even had a play area added in the garden.

Around seven years ago the pub became a Hungry Horse site and two years ago it won the pub chain’s pub of the year award, something Ian ranks as one of the couple’s top achievements at the pub.

He said: “Beating so many pubs to win the overall pub of the year award was a real highlight and something we are very proud of. It has also been great to not only see the pub go through so many changes, but also our customers. We have watched a lot of people grow up in the pub, coming in as a child for a family meal and then coming in again for their first pint at the bar.”

Marc McGuigan, business unit director for Hungry Horse, said: “We would like to thank Ian and Glenis for all their hard work at the Badger Box year after year. They are a great couple who have built an excellent reputation and they will no doubt be missed by their customers. We wish them all the best for the future and hope they enjoy their retirement.”