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Cover and pages from 'I never wanted a pub
  “Chocolate lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes shot out in all directions. The receiver of
the blows was unmoved. He’d already made his first move in the affray. While his friend
(as normally they were) was in the toilet, leaving the row mid-stream as it were, he had
deposited his lower set of dentures into his adversary’s pewter tankard and now watched
with interest as he lowered the pint. ”
I Never Wanted a Pub… , page 20
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   pic from i never wanted a pub...  
I Never Wanted a Pub…
  ‘I looked across the Brewery office
at our rivals; the other seven couples
on the short list. They personified
my idea of publicans. Respectably
middle-aged, smartly dressed and
confident, their years of experience
in the business was evident.
Obviously they were already
acquainted as, seemingly at ease, they
laughed and chatted together; the men
pulling on fat cigars and their wives
smoothing down costume skirts
above nylon-clad legs and high-
heeled shoes.
  ‘I tried to hide my bare legs and
sandalled feet further under the
bentwood chair. Intimidated I
whispered to Eric. “Why are we
here? How on earth did we make the
short-list?” And to crown it all I was
three months pregnant; hence my
casual appearance…
  ‘Eric answered the questions calmly
and competently while I waited in
a cold sweat for my turn. It came.
What, they asked, did I think the
more important in running a pub,
catering or the bar? “Both,” I replied,
gabbling on about it being equally
essential for the two sides to run
successfully in tandem. Inwardly I
quailed. I knew absolutely nothing
about either…
  ‘Then a week later I had to call on the
vicar in whose parish the pub was
situated. “Well,” he said, “I believe
we are going to be neighbours.”
He had heard on the local grape-vine
that we had got the pub. So had the
garage proprietor and the village
shop-keeper. Speedily I cycled the
three miles home, rang Eric at work
who, in turn, rang the Brewery.
The general manager expressed
surprise that Eric had not been in
to sign the tenancy agreement.
“How could I when I never heard
anything from you,” replied
Eric crisply.
  It turned out that we had been
selected straight after our interview
and a letter to that effect had been
written. Unfortunately, a clerk in the
general office had forgotten to post
it and the precious document was
found still lying on her desk.
  In this roundabout and protracted
way we learned that we had got
a pub.’
  I Never Wanted a Pub…
By Celia Bannister

Celia Bannister never wanted a pub. She thought
that her future husband would be an engineer.
Then life took a different turn, and the couple
became the youngest pub tenants in North
West England.

cartoon from, i never wanted a pub...

I Never Wanted a Pub… is Celia’s tale of the
thirteen years she and her husband battled leaky
roofs, a freezing kitchen and the difficulty of
getting customers in… and then out again on time.

cartoon from, i never wanted a pub...

cartoon from, i never wanted a pub...

Particularly memorable are the larger-than life
characters who share Celia’s pages. Like the
bridegroom who dropped his false teeth down
the lavatory… or Tom, the road mender who
demonstrated that he had no belly button…
or Wing Co who had an unfortunate encounter
with an animal laxative.

Now in her late eighties, Celia has lived in
the Isle of Man since 1973 when her husband
became a lecturer at the College of Further
Education. He died in 2016, the year after
celebrating their diamond wedding. She is
a born story teller who recounts tales of
flooded cellars, disappearing coach parties
and a near-miss by a crashing aeroplane
with equal gusto and glee.

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