Noel Buckley and Peter Speak, licensees of the Crown Hotel in Albert Road, have received a long-service award this week in recognition of their 20 years at the pub they have made a vibrant hub of the community.
The longest serving licensees in town, the only person believed to have served in a Colne pub as long as the business partners was a former landlord at The Crown Hotel, who trumped them at 45 years.
Noel said: “Anyone over 50 would remember Walter Drabble. He was a much-loved old-fashioned publican always to be found behind the bar in a jacket and tie.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence that the town’s longest serving licensees all come from The Crown. It’s a real joy running the pub because of the wonderful community it serves. They get under your skin.”
Built for the railway in 1848, generations of the same families have continued over the decades to frequent the pub.
To mark their anniversary and to say thank you to regulars for their support over the years, Noel and Peter held a celebration reducing the price of beer to 1998 prices.
When Noel and Peter took on The Crown Hotel, the kitchen, restaurant and bedrooms were all closed. Within three years they had the kitchen and restaurant up and running and converted the function room into five letting rooms. They also created 25 jobs, many of which have been filled by customers and their children.
Under their stewardship, the Cask Marque accredited pub was a runner up for best community pub in the Best Bar None Awards. Last year they also won a pub company Publican of the Year award based on their food and drink, service, the presentation of the pub and hotel and the friendliness of the staff.
Lorna Willoughby, business development manager of Star Pubs and Bars who presented the award, said: “It’s a real tribute to Noel and Peter’s great hospitality, passion and commitment that The Crown Hotel is so popular with locals and has become the beating heart of the community.
"We wish them many congratulations for all their hard work over the years and many more happy years at the helm.”