Pub of the year raises a glass to its eighth award

Landlady Margo Boyle from The Tap and Spile at Manchester Street, Morpeth, which has won CAMRA Pub of the Year for South East Northumberland and she is seen with some of her regulars.

Landlady Margo Boyle from The Tap and Spile at Manchester Street, Morpeth, which has won CAMRA Pub of the Year for South East Northumberland and she is seen with some of her regulars.

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IT’S super eight for a Morpeth pub as it continues its long run of awards.

The Tap and Spile in Manchester Street has been named Pub of the Year for South East Northumberland in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) awards.

Judges from CAMRA’s Tyneside and Northumberland branch awarded the title after the pub was nominated by a customer and then inspected in secret.

But picking up the award is all in a day’s work for landlady Margo Boyle as it is the eighth time the pub has triumphed.

“To win eight times must mean I’m doing something right,” she said.

“I’m not selling food so people come to us because I keep good beer and have a variety of beer, and we are very particular about keeping our lines clean.

“It is also down to the friendly staff.”

Mrs Boyle came to Morpeth with her husband Allan 21 years ago.

When Allan died just seven months after taking over the pub his wife was so comforted by the support of customers that she decided to stay on.

Now the pub is at the centre of the community, often playing host to local footballers and singing groups, while regulars take turns to host the weekly quiz.

There are also events for local and national celebrations, as well as fund-raising activities for charity.

Mrs Boyle said: “We used to have pubs in Oxfordshire, but if my husband had died down there I would not have had the support I got here.

“People here are far more open and the people who came to the pub 20 years ago are still coming now. It is a real community.

“It is always happy and sociable, which is what a pub should be.”