End of an era for publican as new landlord takes over

Martin Russell and Ken Hodgson at The Oaks Hotel in Alnwick.
Martin Russell and Ken Hodgson at The Oaks Hotel in Alnwick.

It’s all change at the helm of an Alnwick pub after the landlord stepped down following a 13-year stint.

Ken Hodgson ended his time as the landlord at the Oaks Hotel towards the end of last month.

And as well as the end of 40 years behind bars for Ken, it marks the culmination of his family’s more than a century in the trade.

His grandfather was a publican for around 30 years, while his dad worked for 42 years in pubs.

Ken said that he will miss the staff, the place and the trade, but it isn’t the end for his involvement.

He now plans to start lecturing and teaching within the hospitality trade to pass on his experience.

Ken added that the changes in the pub trade over that time have been unbelievable. “My personal opinion is that the Government will kill off the English pub trade,” he said.

Taking over the reins, having been promoted from within, is former head chef Martin Russell.

“We are just going to try to continue keeping the standards as they are and improving anything we think can be improved,” said Martin.

“We are changing the menus and updating the specials.

“It’s about trying to keep the high standards that were put in place by Ken.”

The 38-year-old admitted he had definitely learnt a lot from working under Ken and added that the current staff will remain.

“We have got a good team in place,” he said. “It’s not broken so we won’t try to fix it.”

To contact the Oaks Hotel, ring 01665 510014.