Couple calling time on The Captains pub

A 26-YEAR tenancy at The Captains Hotel is coming to an end for the couple who have run the St Martin’s establishment since the mid-90s.

The Captains Hotel patrons Ali and Colin ‘Del’ de la Mare are retiring after 26-and-a-half years. Pictured with them is their son George, who was born in 1996, the year after the pair took over the pub. (Picture by Chris George)
The Captains Hotel patrons Ali and Colin ‘Del’ de la Mare are retiring after 26-and-a-half years. Pictured with them is their son George, who was born in 1996, the year after the pair took over the pub. (Picture by Chris George)

The timing was right early in 1995 for Ali de la Mare and her husband Colin, known to most as Del, to take on the tenancy of the pub. And now the time is right again for them to move on.

Del was a builder at the time but traded that for pulling pints as soon as the opportunity arose.

‘The Captains has been our way of life for us for 26-and-a-half years,’ Mrs de la Mare said. ‘Lots of people think hospitality is long hours and a lot of hard work, which it is, and of course we’ve had our up and downs, but we’ve made some fantastic friends and had some brilliant staff.’

With the pub open every day, shift work did not come into the equation for the couple as they were always on-hand for the bar, restaurant and nine bedrooms to look after their customers.

‘It’s been very rewarding for us, but looking back it seems to have gone in a flash,’ she said.

The last 18 months presented unique challenges with Covid restrictions and two lockdowns, but the couple said they were incredibly well supported by the property owner, Liberation Group, and the States co-funding scheme.

At The Captains, the closure meant Mr and Mrs de la Mare had time to get round to doing the little jobs that they could not find time for being open every day.

‘For the new tenant, Phill Leahy, with the borders set to open and travel able to start back up, it will be a really exciting time for him to make The Captains his own.

‘And he’s 20 years younger than us so he’ll have much more energy to do it.’

While the Captains will always be their local pub, Mrs de la Mare said she was looking forward to finally being on the other side of the bar.

n The Captains will remain open and it will be business as usual while the new tenant takes over. Mrs de la Mare will be helping out in the background throughout July to ensure an orderly handover.

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