THE landlord of a popular Lytham pub has pulled his last pint.
Ian Rigg, 63, has completed more than 20 years of beer tasting, barrel changing and pint serving, with free beers given to all on his final night in the ale house.
The well-liked publican admitted it had been an emotional, but proud two decades.
He said: “I remember it like it was yesterday. I first set foot in the pub on May 27, 1992, when it was known as the Captains Cabin. We took one look inside and knew we wanted to make changes.
“A few months later, on June 18, we opened the brand new Taps pub. We blasted back the plasterboard to the brick, added a few new features and made it much more of a homely pub. Its popularity soared in no time.
“It’s amazing to think in my time here we have done three Open Golf Championships, laying down the turf, a few beach parties with sand in the pub, and not to forget 20 very colourful Lytham Club Days.”
He added: “I remember getting the phone call asking me to take over. It was a dream, they said I could source my own beer, make any changes I want to the pub, and best of all, it was down the road from my favourite rugby team, Fylde.”
Much of the pub’s interior is a tribute to the rugby club, with framed tour ties, photos and an illustration of ex-England and Fylde player captain Bill Beaumont on the wall.
Ian hopes to use the next few months to relax and enjoy his time off, before embarking on a consultation position next year, helping pubs with their beer buying and tasting.
However, he saved his biggest compliment to his loyal legion of drinkers: “My biggest message goes to the people who visit the pub every week. I just want to say thank you to all Lythamites for the help they gave me and continue to do so.
“When I came here with June, we were strangers and the people in the town made us feel so welcome, their help has been fantastic.”
Pub-owners Greene King said: “Ian is an institution and has been the heart and soul of the Taps for such a long time.
“His quirky and innovative approach has won him the approval from customers and industry bodies alike, particularly for his wonderful cask ale range which has won numerous awards.
“We’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Ian for making the Taps what it is today.
“He will be sorely missed and we wish him all the best.”