'Too good for London', Sir Paul Stephenson will find a welcome at the Kettledrum's bar
Tuesday 19 July 2011
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."
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek Spock actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...