'Too good for London', Sir Paul Stephenson will find a welcome at the Kettledrum's bar

Lancashire gave him to London and Lancashire will take him back.

In the village of Mereclough, near Burnley, they expect to see Sir Paul Stephenson back soon at the bar of the Kettledrum Inn.

In London, during his time as one of the shortest-serving commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul made no secret of his affection for"t' Drum", a pub in the Pennine country high above Burnley. He would often insist to colleagues and friends that he remained a "country boy" at heart, and would travel back there at weekends. As Chief Constable of Lancashire until 2005, he could look across the Cliviger Gorge from Lea Croft – his old home in the village, where he and his wife Lynda lived with their three daughters – as far as Deerplay and the hills above Bacup, the slipper-making town where he was born the son of a butcher in 1953.

Mereclough's two pubs have battled it out for 150 years and currently Sir Paul's favourite, the Kettledrum, has triumphed over the nearby Fighting Cocks, which has just failed as an Indian restaurant.

"I expect we'll see him back here soon," said an old neighbour, Ray Askew, a retired lorry driver and former steeplejack who lost his foot when a gable end fell down on him. "Some might say he was too good for London."

Mr Askew added: "He used to walk his Labrador past here most Saturday mornings. He was a Kettledrum man."

The Kettledrum is named after the 1861 Epsom Derby winner that made a fortune at 16-1 for Colonel Charles Towneley and paid for the building of the small but elegant St Huberts Church at Dunsop Bridge, where the family had a stud farm. The lucky horse, bought in Darlington for 400 guineas, won him £2,000 in bets and £6,000 in prize money.

Natalie Hutchinson, the licensee of the Kettledrum, looked at Sir Paul's front page newspaper picture as she pulled a pint of bitter.

"I know him. I'm glad he likes it round here," she said. "Of course I wouldn't talk politics with him.

"Stan Ternent, the former manager of Burnley FC and Bury FC, comes in here too, but folk don't bother him about football when he's in here, you know. This is Mereclough."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss