Steve calls time on 36 years as pub landlord

December 30 2021
Steve calls time on 36 years as pub landlord

A NEW landlord is seeing a Winterbourne pub into the New Year, after his predecessor called time on 36 years behind the bar.

Steve Moyse first pulled a pint at the Masons Arms in North Road, Watley's Ed, on November 28, 1985.

He called last orders for the last time 36 years later to the day, at the age of 70.

The pub has been taken over by Carlos Rodrigues, who runs a construction firm.

Carlos, 40, was already a customer of the 140-year old pub, and his grandfather took him to the Masons for his first pint. Just before taking over as landlord on December 1, Carlos repaid the gesture, taking his grandfather in before he entered a care home.

"After 36 years Steve has left some pretty big shoes to fill," acknowledged Carlos.

Although he has never run a pub, he says he wanted to take it over "so it could carry on exactly as it is", adding: "It's such a successful local pub and I didn't want someone coming in from outside and changing everything.

"In construction I always tried to provide the highest level of service.

"There might be things to learn, but Steve will still be living around the corner."

Steve was not set to be among the revellers seeing in the New Year, however, as he and partner Sarah were due to go on holiday to Tenerife.

When they return home they plan to spend the summer travelling around England, watching test cricket, courtesy of grateful customers. 

They raised enough money to allow the keen cricket fan - and Sarah who, loyally, has become one - to attend each of England's test matches in 2022. They also raised the money for the accommodation.

When not following the cricket, Steve will be living less than five minutes' walk from the Masons Arms, at Sarah's home.

He said: "We've been together for 18 years but, as I lived over the pub, we've always lived separately." 

His surprise send-off, courtesy of Sarah and their neighbours, was memorable.

He said: "It was lovely but, of course, I didn't order in any extra food!"

Worse, for a publican who believes the secret of three decades' success was "running a tight ship", the pub ran out of beer and cider for the first time.

Steve blamed the pandemic for his decision to retire.

He said: "Covid has had a massive effect on the trade.

"The second lockdown got me into a new routine, walking the dog and seeing our horse.

"That started me thinking - I'm probably the only landlord who enjoyed lockdown!"  

Masons' regulars attest that the renowned dog-lover "will be missed by his four-legged friends as well as his two-legged ones".

Customer Myra Evans, of Winterbourne Down, said: "Our dog, Barney, looked forward to a visit to the pub almost as much as we did!" 

By way of evidence university lecturer Myra produced a photograph of Barney at the bar (below).