Brian and Lorraine Cureton, of the Trinity Bar in Hawick, have called last orders for the final time before the keys to the popular Duke Street watering hole were handed over to new owner Eddie Hall.
After almost a quarter of a century of pulling pints , the husband-and-wife team decided to retire.
Brian, who is originally from Glasgow, said: “I’d been involved in pubs in Glasgow before I came to Hawick in 1992. Actually, I’d never heard of Hawick until I saw that a pub called the Trinity Bar was up for sale in the town.
“So, firstly, I did some research and found out that Hawick was famous for rugby, which didn’t do much for me as I am a real football man. I also read about the common riding and that people went around riding on horses, so I thought Hawick must be some sort of cowboy town.
“When I came to Hawick, however, I liked it from the start and decided to take on the pub – and the rest is history.”
Brian’s introduction behind the bar at the Trinity was a baptism of fire as it was the week of the common riding.
Talking of her early days at the pub, Lorraine said: “I worked in Scott and Charters’ mill and got a part-time job as a barmaid at the Trinity. At that time I never thought for a second that I’d still be working there 23 years later.”
Lorraine was to become Mrs Cureton and Brian, commenting on his wife’s influence on the business, said: “Lorraine has been the face of the Trinity Bar. When I first came it was a real old-fashioned man’s pub. But Lorraine changed this. She had a lot of good ideas and brought a lady’s touch to the place – and this was for the better.”
The Curetons have many happy memories of their Trinity days. An exception, however, was the devastating flood of 2004.
Lorraine recalled: “There was water everywhere. The cellar was flooded and it was just terrible. We were closed from October to May, which was a long time for a business.”
But, overall, times have been good.
“I like meeting people and you certainly get the chance to do that working in a pub,” she continued.
“We’ve always had good regulars and that means a lot. We’ve come across a lot of characters in the pub over the years. Some of them are no longer with us, but we’ve never forgotten them.
“I’ve always enjoyed the banter with the customers, too, from the guys to the ladies to the young ones.”
Lorraine added: “We’ve always been fortunate to have had good staff. My father, Jimmy Hope, and my son, Craig, in particular, have been just brilliant, but there have been many others as well.”
Brian and Lorraine have seen many changes in licensed trade culture during their 23-year stint, and although it has all come to an end, the pair have raised their glasses to the new Trinity publican.
Lorraine said: “The long hours won’t be missed, but other things to do with the pub will.”