Chance to celebrate history of closing Morecambe pub

The Ranch House, Morecambe.
The Ranch House, Morecambe.

A Morecambe pub set to close at the end of January is inviting customers to be part of a new exhibition and book celebrating its history.

The Ranch House will shut on January 31 to make way for a new pub-restaurant as part of the Bay Shopping Park development at the former Frontierland site.

Licensees Rob and Debbie Ellershaw will then take over the former Imperial pub on Regent Road.

To say goodbye to the Ranch, where Rob has been licensee for 15 years, the couple are inviting customers to come in and have a photograph taken in their favourite spot.

These photos can be individual, or with friends, family or maybe a sports team.

The free photographs will go into the finished book and exhibition.

They will also be available to collect from the re-named Imperial in February.

“It’s not just us losing our pub, it’s the people who come in here who are losing their pub,” said Rob.

“Lots of people are going to be sad to see it go.

“This is a way of giving people a lasting memory.”

Debbie Jenkins, photographer and Ranch House customer, came up with the idea. She will take the photos.

“I think the Ranch House is an iconic place,” said Debbie.

“It’s a place where people can gather and feel comfortable.

“It’s sad that it’s going to go because there’s nothing like it.

“I’d like people to come down and have their photo taken. I’m making no money out of it.

“I’ll also be capturing the essence of the pub itself.

“People might also have their own photos of the Ranch House to share with us.”

Owners Morrisons have given the Ellershaws notice to move out of the Ranch by January 31.

The Marine Road West bar is making way for a Brewers Fayre pub/restaurant and Premier Inn – part of a new £17m shopping complex at the former Frontierland Wild West theme park site.

The Ellershaws have bought the freehold on the Imperial, which has been closed for more than a year, and aim to open shortly after the Ranch closes.

They will give the Imperial a new name and will announce this later in January.

The Ranch House, formerly the Casino, was re-named after Morecambe’s fairground on the seafront was rebranded as a Wild West theme park in 1987.

It became a thriving West End community pub, especially popular with theme park staff, known for its distinctive red ‘Wild West saloon’ exterior.

When Frontierland closed in 2000, the Ranch House remained open and under the Ellershaws, continued as one of the town’s busiest bars.

But its closure has been on the cards since Morrisons and developers Opus North announced plans for the Bay Shopping Park in 2013.

Debbie Jenkins will be taking photographs in the Ranch on the following dates:

Saturday, January 16 noon to 3pm

Sunday, January 17 3pm to 6pm

Monday, January 18 - Friday, January 22 6pm to 8pm

For more information call 07837 835656 or go to ‘Ranch House Memories’ on Facebook.