LANDLORDS of the Ship Inn on Piel Island have said goodbye to the pub for the final time.

Steven Chattaway and wife Sheila have said an emotional farewell to the pub they have called home for the past 15 years.

Mr Chattaway said: “We are really sad to be leaving but the time has come.

“We hadn’t planned to say goodbye just yet, but because of the difficulties created by the Covid, we have sadly decided to call it a day.

“As everyone is aware the pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for the hospitality industry and we had to make the difficult decision to move on. We had planned to stay for longer – we were even in the process of creating a new menu for the pub, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”

ISLAND ROYALTY: Steven and Sheila Chattaway

ISLAND ROYALTY: Steven and Sheila Chattaway

The Chattaways said that despite their sadness, leaving has given them the chance to reflect on the great times they enjoyed during their time on Piel.

“Our 15 years here been the most incredible experience," he said. "We’ve met some fascinating, wonderful people from all over the world and we’ve gained many friends for life.”

Mrs Chattaway said: “It’s obviously very sad to be leaving and as our time here comes to an end it is an emotional time for both of us. However, despite the sadness, we are very much looking forward to passing the pub over to the next owners and crowing the next King or Queen of Piel.”

The couple have shared pictures of the pub’s empty bar and kitchen as they pack away their business of over a decade.

ship inn piel

ship inn piel

Mr Chattaway said: “Everything is full of memories. Each individual plate or fork brings back great memories of our time here that we will never forget.”

“We really hope the new landlords enjoy looking after the pub as much as we have. We hope they understand and appreciate the uniqueness of the island and do the pub proud.”

The couple have decided to take early retirement and plan to stay in the Barrow area. Mr Chattaway said: “It’s been an incredible adventure, but it’s now time for our next adventure.

LAST ORDERS: The empty bar at the Ship Inn, Piel, as the leaving landlords empty the premises ready for the next owners.

LAST ORDERS: The empty bar at the Ship Inn, Piel, as the leaving landlords empty the premises ready for the next owners.

“I might even buy a yacht and come to the island as a visitor. I’m really looking forward to being a customer on the other side of the bar.”

The tradition of the landlord of the pub being crowned as the ‘King’ of Piel is a tradition passed down through the centuries.

New ‘Kings’ are sworn in by a ceremony which involves sitting in the ancient carved wooden throne, wearing a helmet and holding a sword while alcohol is poured over their head.

Barrow Borough Council is currently looking for a new owner to take on the 18th Century pub on the English Heritage Trust island.