Run-down pub is being given a new lease of life

Susan Martin with the painting on the wall at the Shepherds Rest.
Susan Martin with the painting on the wall at the Shepherds Rest.

A run-down pub is being given a new lease of life and reopening night.

The Shepherd’s Rest, on Alnwick Moor, has been shut since October but the pub, which also has a small caravan park as well as bed and breakfast rooms, has been taken over.

Susan Martin, who also runs the Oddfellow’s Arms on Bailiffgate in Alnwick, has taken on the venue with Graeme Willis, known as Buzz.

The pair are keen to get it back up and running.

Susan said: “The person who had it before wasn’t running it like it should have been.

“It has been run down to next to nothing.

“We are giving it a lick of paint, freshening it up a bit and hopefully getting all the customers back in.”

Susan and Buzz will also be starting Sunday lunches from this weekend but daytime and evening meals won’t start until Easter next year to give the pair chance to get the business off the ground again.

During the work to get it open, they found a painting which had been covered up.

A scene of a hunt had been created along the top of one of the walls, but previous owners had wallpapered over it.

Susan is now planning to get someone to copy it, then cover it with hardwood to protect it for prosperity.

“It’s been there for years and years, but as they wallpapered over it some of it has come away and we don’t want to damage it any more,” Susan said.

Susan and Buzz will continue to run the Oddfellows as well as the Shepherd’s Rest and will be using all their knowledge and previous experience.

“We have to do things step by step,” Susan said.

“I’ve run a pub long enough to know that. We’re really excited about this new venture.

“We saw it was available and just decided to go for it.

“Because we have had the Oddfellows for seven years now we know that you can’t make a lot of money, but what we can do is bring back the customers.

“We love the fact that there is a caravan park here as well and we have bed and breakfast rooms. We’re going to live here as well and really make a go of it.”

When the pub starts serving food all week next year, a number of jobs will be created.

The Shepherd’s Rest will open at 6pm on Friday night.

Keep up to date with the reopening on their Facebook page.