Popular Morecambe pub gets new chiefs

A new couple at the helm of one of Morecambe's oldest pubs are determined to keep up its proud tradition.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 11:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 2:31 pm
New licensees at the Chieftain, Andy and Linda Howard.

Andy and Linda Howard are the new bosses at the Chieftain after moving from Blackpool to take over the Pedder Street inn, which dates back to 1850.

The Chieftain reopened on Wednesday after a major revamp.

There are now nine TVs for live sport including a plasma screen in the smoking area, a new pool table and refurbished toilets.

While the pub has retained its famous oval bar, other changes include cheaper drinks prices s and there is no longer a kitchen serving a full menu of food.

Linda said the Howards will run the Chieftain as a friendly community pub and will not stand for troublemakers.

“We don’t take any messing,” said Linda.

“It’s not all about the coin in the till, it’s about the ambience in the pub. People want to feel safe, they don’t want to hear any effing and jeffing. Any of that and they will be gone.”

The Howards have 17 years of experience in the licensed trade and previously ran pubs in Blackpool where Linda was born and bred.

Andy, who is originally from Bradford, is ex-army and a big supporter of the Help For Heroes charity.

The Howards, who have four children and eight grandchildren, have been brought in to run the Chieftain by owners the Craft Union Pub Company.

“We had a choice between Morecambe and Cockermouth,” said Linda.

“But I looked at that view across the promenade and it was amazing.

“And I liked the feel of the pub when I came in. I’m hoping we can make a difference.

“It’s going to be very much a sport pub where you can have a drink, going back to what pubs used to be, a community place. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Originally built in 1850 as a coaching hotel, the Chieftain on Pedder Street became popular as a drinking establishment during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

The earliest recorded landlord was a Mr Fletcher (1869). The famous figurehead of a clan chief above the door was bought by a Mr Snelson, in the 1930s, from the Ward shipbreakers yard and restored in the 80s.

For 50 years, starting in the 1940s, the pub was run by the Wilson family.

Bernard and Linda Shaw were licensees of the pub from 1984 until their retirement in 2014.

By this time the Chieftain was renowned as a darts pub and top stars of the arrows such as Phil Taylor, John Lowe and Jocky Wilson visited for matches and exhibitions.

Thank you to Bernard Shaw for his help with the history of the Chieftain.