Alan and Sylvia call time on The Swan in Brome – after more than 33 years
When Alan and Sylvia Garlick were trying to decide on a new challenge in their lives they were given an idea by his father.
“You’ve spent so long on one side of a bar. Why don’t you get on the other and run your own pub,” he said.
It has been a way of life for us. We have always been behind the bar or in the kitchen – it’s the way we wanted to do it
He was half-joking but it started the couple thinking and eventually brought them from Essex to the Brome Swan 33 years ago.
Mrs Garlick has not been able to establish it for sure, but their time at the Swan - “33 and a half years to be exact,” she said – which certainly puts them among the longest serving landlords in the locality.
“We went on a pub course and started looking round and we fell in love with the Swan,” said Mrs Garlick. “It has been their first and only pub.
“It has been a way of life for us. We have always been behind the bar or in the kitchen – it’s the way we wanted to do it.
“We have had some lovely people in here and the locals and regulars have been really good. It has been a good life.
“But we’ve both turned 70 now and we don’t have the energy we used to have.”
Unsuccessful so far in finding a buyer, they have now decided to shut the Swan and for the time being make it their home while they enjoy their retirement.
It means that the timbered building dating back to the 17th Century beside the main Ipswich-Norwich road, is the latest pub in the Diss Express area to close.
The couple have been happy to run the Swan as a traditional pub and Mrs Garlick said it needed a buyer prepared to invest in the pub and bring it into the 21st century.
“But you never know,” Mrs Garlick said.
“We could get fed up with retirement and be open again by Christmas.”
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