The landlord and landlady of one of Hawick’s most popular watering holes are preparing to call last orders after over a decade behind its bar.
Stuart and Caja Sharkey have loved their time at the Drumlanrig Bar, alias Jock Reid’s, but have decided to call time.
The couple, in charge of the bar for the last 11 years, will miss all the banter and laughter with locals, they say.
However, they have taken that decision so they can spend more time with their three young daughters – Lily, nine, Lola, seven, and Ruby, four – as they grow up.
Stuart, 55, and Caja, 38, intend to concentrate more on a carpet business they also run too and will remain in the trade by providing outside bar and catering facilities.
Their departure won’t be immediate, and they have reassured customers that the premises will not be closing.
They are waiting to hand over the Drumlanrig Square bar, with an upstairs flat, to the right person, they say.
Meanwhile, all outside functions, weddings, common riding gatherings and rugby sevens events will go ahead as planned.
Stuart, acting father at 2016’s Hawick Common Riding, said: “We have mixed emotions, but we want to let all of our customers know that after an enjoyable and memorable 11 years in Jock Reid’s, we will be putting our second home on the market.
“We bought Jock’s in 2007 whilst on honeymoon in Thailand. We left Hawick newlyweds and returned as newlywed publicans.
“The journey we have been on since has been unforgettable. We have made amazing memories, met some of the most wonderful people and enjoyed being part of the tradition, banter and overall atmosphere that surrounds the pub. It’s a journey we will never forget.
“We feel that it’s time to pass it on, and we have three little girls that need our attention at weekends, Christmas etc.
“We have loved every minute and can’t thank you all enough for the support and laughter you have given us over the last 11 years.”
Caja added: “We want to hand over the bar to the right person because it is steeped in history and because we want to look after the customers.”
The Sharkeys’ forthcoming departure will be one of a series of changes to hit Hawick’s pub circuit within a matter of months as the Exchange Bar in Silver Street is also on the market and the Mansfield Bar, in Mansfield Road, and High Level Bar, in Green Terrace, have closed.