Aye, aye captain! Proud Ship is all set to sail again in Horncastle

Landlady Penny Wells behind the bar at the new-look Ship Inn .
Landlady Penny Wells behind the bar at the new-look Ship Inn .

According to the latest figures, as many as 18 pubs are closing across the UK every week.

One couple, though, hope to buck that trend.

Elvis Presley  - a big hit at the Ship.

Elvis Presley - a big hit at the Ship.

Penny and Brian Wells have taken over the tenancy of the Ship Inn in Horncastle.

They are determined to transform it into a popular family venue.

Anyone who calls in will see Penny and Brian have plenty of help from some ‘interesting’ characters including ‘The Blues Brothers’, a ‘Red Indian’ and ‘Elvis Presley’.

Oh...and that’s not forgetting ‘Bob’, a toad-like individual who props up the bar and apparently appeared in ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

The above mentioned are all striking life-sized resin models, collected by Brian whose hard work has re-invented the pub’s interior.

The walls are adorned with signed photos, posters and other memorabilia of music and movie stars.

As for the ceilings, they are decorated with vinyl records.

The couple actually ‘moved in’ in July but it is only now that they’re happy with how the pub is starting to look.

Both ex-Army, Penny and Brian were running a pub in Otley in Yorkshire but were keen to return to Lincolnshire.

hey’d previously lived in Grantham and had regularly driven past the Ship on family days’ out in ‘Skegvegas’.

Penny explains: “We saw the pub advertised and decided to have a look.

“It was really rundown but you know how it is, when you have that feeling about somewhere. We fell in love with the place We could see the potential.”

Penny admits one of the first tasks was banning some of the ‘characters’ who used the pub...and she’s not talking about ‘Bob’ either!

It really has been a labour of love cleaning and decorating the interior and restoring the Ship’s good name.

Penny adds: “Trade has been quiet, but as more people get to know about us things should pick up.

“No-one is in the pub game these days thinking they will become a millionaire.

“It’s hard work but all we want is to make a decent, honest living catering for decent, honest people.”

Daughter Courtney can be found behind the bar alongside Penny while Brian - once he finishes hanging wallpaper on the stairs - will be hard at work in the recently re-fitted kitchens.

The couple planned to start serving home-made food last Friday with roast dinners, and Brian’s ‘famous stew and dumpings’ on the menu.

Penny adds: “We want to settle here and we just hope people will give us a try.”

Penny and Brian say they have been made to feel welcome in Horncastle, and are keen to put down roots in the town.

Their son has started at Banovallum School while their granddaughter is a pupil at Horncastle Primary School.

Penny says: “Horncastle is a really friendly place and we want to put the Ship back at the very heart of the community.”

She says the fact they are serving food will be a big attraction, and the couple have other exciting plans - including hopefully re-decorating the exterior of the building early in the new year.