The Visitor’s resident pub landlord is leaving the Morecambe bar trade for pastures new.
Mick Dennison, who pens a weekly column for The Visitor, will be leaving the York Hotel after 10 years in charge.
Mick and his wife Lynn will move to Spain after they depart the York later this month.
Regulars were out in force on Saturday night to give the Dennisons a rousing send-off at their leaving party.
Mick and Lynn took over the York Bridge pub in 2006 and turned the flagging business around.
But he said he had decided to leave due to a lack of support from local people.
“Apart from my regulars, who have been fantastic, most locals don’t support the York as a local pub,” he said.
“They would rather go to Toby Carvery, the Hurley Flyer or Wetherspoon’s.
“It is a community pub but the community is small.
“It’s difficult to get business because there are only a few days a year in Morecambe when people come in from out of town, like the Nice ‘n’ Sleazy punk festival, the Carnival and vintage festival. That’s about it.
“Also the contractors who are building the road don’t stop in the hotels and pubs of Morecambe, and we lost a lot of customers when Morecambe Football Club moved from Christie Park to the Globe Arena.
“I had a choice to keep flogging this for another 10 years or call it a day.”
Mick had also not been in the best of health in recent years after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in 2014.
That summer he was also violently attacked by a gang of teenagers who were drinking outside his pub.
But he and Lynn worked hard to make the pub as safe a community pub as possible, with regular quiz nights, live music, food, TV sport, guest rooms and a meeting room for hire by local organisations.
He said the York would stay open as owners Mitchell’s Brewery plan to put a temporary manager in charge.
The Dennisons will go travelling in South East Asia after they leave the York on February 21, before settling on the Costa Blanca.
But Mick said they will make regular trips back to Morecambe to see family and friends.
The ex-serviceman has also given up his role as Parade Marshal for the Morecambe Remembrance Day parade and as president of the Morecambe and Heysham branch of the British Legion.
Mick was also chairman of the Morecambe Pubwatch committee of local licensees who work together to keep known troublemarkers out of town pubs.
He said Pubwatch would continue after he leaves so “the miscreants of the town will still be looked at!”
And he will also continue to write his weekly column for The Visitor while on his travels.