Morpeth’s longest serving pub landlord has called last orders in the town.
George Hall has been behind the bar at The Joiners Arms in Wansbeck Street for 25 years, but on Sunday he pulled his last pint at the pub as he moves on to pastures new.
He said: “I would like to thank all of my customers and friends for their support over the last 25 years. Thank you to you all, I will miss you.”
The 62-year-old, dubbed the Grey Ghost by regulars, was one of Morpeth’s most well-known characters and raised thousands of pounds for charity from completing numerous sponsored walks around the country.
The majority of his fund-raising exploits were in aid of North East Child Cancer Research, and the former soldier even managed to complete one of his walks with his left arm in a sling following an operation to release a trapped nerve in his hand.
His regulars came in all shapes and sizes, and one, Murphy the Shar Pei, even spent the whole night in the pub.
The dog was a frequent visitor to the premises with his owner Rob Flaherty and one night when the pair became separated on the way home, Murphy found his way back to the Joiners. Mr Hall not only took him in, but even gave up his dinner for his new-found four-legged friend and stayed up to keep him company.
Mr Hall’s popularity saw his loyal customers go out of their way to reach the pub, from wading through the Morpeth flood in 2008 to have a pint to finding another route to the premises when bridges have been closed.
A farewell party was held at the pub on Sunday, featuring music by local bands.
Morpeth town councillor and Wansbeck Street resident David Clark said: “You can’t help feeling that George was as much part of the Joiners as the gadgies are part of the Clock Tower.
“He has always been a popular guy around the town. It is sad for everyone to see him go.”
Mr Hall will be taking charge of another pub in Whitley Bay.