Ottery pub duo call last orders

A COUPLE who turned around the fortunes of an ale-ing Ottery pub have called time on their stint behind its bar.

A COUPLE who turned around the fortunes of an ale-ing Ottery pub have called time on their stint behind its bar.

Licensees at the Volunteer Inn David and Bea Richards this week vowed the pub will remain open, but they will pour their last pint and hand over the reins to a new landlord within the next six months.

The couple said Bea's ongoing health problems have forced them into making the "sad" decision.

"We decided we'd had enough, my health has deteriorated quite a lot.It will be run as normal until we can smoothly hand over to new licensees," said Bea, 56, who wanted to nip any bar-room gossip, to which she has become so accustomed, over the couple's exit in the bud.

She added: "We've both really enjoyed it, although it's been hard work. We made some changes but have had a great time, it's been absolutely brilliant."

Bea and husband Dave celebrated their marriage shortly after taking over at the Volly last year. The newlyweds oversaw an extensive refurbishment of the popular pub.

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Dave, 51, said: "We're very sad to be leaving but Bea's health is more important. We've had a fantastic 15 plus months of fun and laughter and would like to thank customers for their support. We will be living locally so we can both enjoy a pint on the other side of the bar."

A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns, which owns the pub, said yesterday: "The licensees of the Volunteer Inn have recently decided to leave and we wish them every success for the future. Our main priority is that the pub stays open and we hope to recruit a new licensee shortly so that this can happen.

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