Landlord Bob’s new challenge as he takes over at community pub

There will be a familiar face behind the bar at the Bosville Arms in Rudston after popular landlord Bob Palmer was chosen to be the community pub’s new interim manager.

Until the end of March, Bob was at the helm of the Spread Eagle in Driffield, where he had been behind the bar for almost 10 years having moved across town from a three-year tenure at the Rose & Crown.

However, Bob decided to call last orders for the final time at the Spread Eagle and took on a new project in Bridlington, running the recently refurbished Moon Tap.

But around seven months later, he’s heading back towards the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds and began life at the Bosville Arms on Tuesday 15th November.

And the enthusiasm Bob displayed at the Spread Eagle and Rose & Crown should fit right in at the pub, the running of which is overseen by the Rudston Community Pub Group.

After a period of closure, support for the reopening of the Bosville Arms started in 2019 following plans to turn the site into a housing development.

The plans were stopped and, shortly afterwards, a meeting was held in Rudston Village Hall and a rescue act was launched that involved a share scheme that would transform the pub into a community asset for Rudston and other nearby villages.

The level of support saw £250,000 raised to buy the pub, with the majority invested by nearly 150 shareholders and the remainder via grants.

The Bosville Arms was soon handed over to the Community Pub Group who applied for a premises licence before officially opening the pub in April 2021 when COVID restrictions were lifted.

Sharon and Martin Hinks were chosen as the pub’s first tenants and ran the pub successfully until July, after which members of the pub group took over.

After advertising for a new manager and conducting a series of interviews, Bob was chosen as the preferred candidate and Ian Simmonds, chairman of the Community Pub Group, is looking forward to seeing his impact.

“The tenants at the pub did a decent job of getting it open and up and running,” said Ian.

“However, for personal reasons, they had to leave at the end of July and we’ve been running the pub ourselves since then.

“We knew we had to get somebody else to manage the pub sooner rather than later whilst we decide whether to bring in another tenant.

“We began a recruitment process and Bob was one of the candidates to apply. It’s turned out very well for us and he seems to have a good following in the area and clearly, he is a professional publican who knows exactly what he is doing.

“From what we have heard about how he ran the Spread Eagle, which was very community-led, Bob looks like a good fit for us.

“He’s looking forward to starting. It sounds as though he likes to be busy and he certainly will be at the Bosville as there is a lot going on.

“The pub is already doing very well and somebody with his experience will be able to take it on and do the same.”

Used to running wet pubs at the Spread Eagle and Rose & Crown, the Bosville Arms and its food output will be something different, but not completely alien to Bob.

The experienced landlord is already coming up with ideas of how he can maximise the pub’s potential for the remainder of the year and into 2023, particularly with the World Cup just around the corner.

“It’s a good opportunity and a lovely pub but completely different to what I have been used to,” said the new interim manager of the Bosville Arms.

“There will be food involved, which isn’t completely new to me as I have run food-led pubs previously.
“A community pub is also something different. I’ve met most of the committee and they all seem very nice people and happy with my knowledge of the area.

“I’ve visited the pub on a couple of occasions for Sunday lunch, to get a feel of the place.

“It’s a very nice Sunday lunch and very busy with lots of people who I knew, which was good.

“I’ve got to know the people of Bridlington over the last six months and hopefully some of them will make the short trip to see me.

“I’ll be sitting down with the committee soon to discuss plans for the World Cup along with some other ideas.

“The pub currently closes on a Monday evening but if we can bring a couple of darts teams in, it might make opening viable.

“There’s already a domino team and Langtoft football team also play from there.

“It’s an opportunity to build the business. The catchment in the village is around 500, so it’s likely we’re going to need to attract people who drive to us.

“We’ve got a huge outside area, which gives us lots of scope from Eastertime and into the summer.

“I’m excited. I’ve met the majority of the staff, who seem very switched on and it seems to be one of the few hospitality businesses that has no trouble employing people.

“Since the news came out, my phone has been red hot with people from Driffield congratulating me. I’m very happy to being the preferred candidate and doing what I do best.”

When the Community Pub Group took over the Bosville Arms, the aim was to provide a venue for regulars, parties, sports teams and social clubs.

And the people of Rudston and the surrounding area have fully embraced the return of the pub as its popularity grows.

“The pub has gone from strength to strength since it opened,” said Ian. “It’s busy and we’re starting to get a good reputation for food.

“We’ve got lots of events going on, especially community ones, which seem to have taken off.

“We’ve got ladies and men’s nights and gin tastings, which we can continue to build on.

“The letting rooms are beginning to become more popular too, so we’re doing extremely well considering the current financial climate.

“Hopefully, Bob will be able to build on all that.

“He’s very much community-focused and into sports teams.

“It’s all going well and we’re looking forward to Bob getting started and I think he is too.”

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