FEARS that time would be called on one of Portsmouth’s best loved pubs have been allayed, after a change in ownership.
As previously reported, The Royal Standard – affectionately known as Ruby’s – was due to ring the bell for time at the bar for the final time yesterday after 126 years.
The Edinburgh Road pub was run by Sarah Erridge and her dad, Steve Wood, who is the son of its long-standing landlady, Ruby.
Sarah said money problems meant the family, who had run the pub for 52 years, could no longer afford to keep it on and it would have to close.
But pub owner Punch Taverns has given it a reprieve, and installed a new landlord at the pub.
Speaking to The News after leaving the Landport pub for the last time yesterday, Sarah said: ‘It’s been quite an emotional day – It’s been an emotional weekend, actually.
‘I’ve handed the keys over and the new owner is in charge.
‘We had a long party over the weekend and all my customers came along. I want to thank them all for their support, and my staff.
‘It’s an end of an era. I’m gutted.’
As previously reported, Sarah blames a land dispute between her family and Punch Taverns for her being forced to give it up.
She said: ‘The powers that be have worn me down. I don’t have anything planned to go on to – I’m going to get Christmas out of the way and then see what’s out there.’
The pub has historic ties to the Royal Navy and, over the course of its history, ships’ name plaques were put up on the walls.
Those have now all gone, auctioned by Sarah and her family.
New landlord Chris Clayton was at the pub yesterday, though he does not officially take over until today.
He will keep the pub’s navy links going, having previously served in the Royal Navy.
It is the first time Chris, 50, has been a landlord but he has worked in the trade previously.
In a statement, Punch Taverns said the pub would be reopening today.
The statement said: ‘We look forward to working with Chris and believe he can take the pub from strength to strength.’