A well-known Spalding landlord and his family are set to pull their last pints in the town after nearly 20 years.
Pete Williams (64) has confirmed to the Spalding Guardian that The Punchbowl, in New Road, is “on the market” as he and his family plan “to move on and do other things in our lives”.
It’s time to put our personal priorities first because we’ve always given The Punchbowl all of our energiesPete Williams, landlord of The Punchbowl, Spalding
After a busy Christmas and quiet New Year period, the pub was the scene of trouble on at least two occasions which Pete explained had “reaffirmed” his decision to call time at The Punchbowl.
Pete said: “It’s time to put our personal priorities first because we’ve always given The Punchbowl all of our energies.”
The first incident where a window was smashed at the pub happened on Thursday, January 11.
Then on Sunday, January 14, a fight broke out which resulted in police arresting a man on suspicion of common assault and being drink and disorderly.
He was later “released under investigation”, according to South Holland neighbourhood policing inspector Gareth Boxall.
Pete said: “It’s taken a toll on my wife Steph (62) and my son Ben is finding it difficult to juggle pub work and family life.
“So we’ve all decided that we want to move and do other things in our lives.”
The decision to quit The Punchbowl was made after a family dinner at another Spalding pub, The Moorings, on Christmas Day.
It came after a mixed two years for the Williams when, on one hand, they won consecutive Best Flower-Decorated Licensed Premises in Spalding, run by the Guardian, and our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press.
In sharp contrast, Pete and Steph were seriously injured after they were attacked at the pub in March 2016.
Pete said: “The town has suffered, both in terms of trade and atmosphere, and it’s been a constant challenge to keep up with it.
“The night economy in Spalding is not only competing with Peterborough and Stamford, but with the supermarkets which have taken the lion’s share of the licensing trade.
“So often now, our customers have already pre-loaded themselves with drink before they arrive here and so every one of these events where we had trouble have reconfirmed our decision to leave.”
Pete celebrated his 64th birthday on Tuesday by driving his wife down to London for an operation in connection with complications following a prolapsed uterus that was diagnosed a year ago.
“There’s nothing we’d change about the last 20 years at The Punchbowl because it’s been a blast,” Pete said.
“But nothing is forever and it’s now time that I took Steph away from all of this.
“With my birthday having come and gone on Tuesday as well, there’s never been a more crucial time to move on and so we’re hoping for a quick sale of the pub.”
• Police are treating the two incidents at The Punchbowl two weeks ago as criminal damage (January 11) and common assault (January 14) respectively.
Inspector Boxall said: “We’ve identified a number of people who we’ll be speaking to about the incidents and enquiries are ongoing.”
Anyone with information should call Spalding Police Station on 101, quoting incident number 437 of January 11 and or 337 of January 14.