Landlords keep it in the family for 50 years at pub

BIG DAY Landlady Sarah Wood and her father Steve at Ruby's pub in Portsmouth
BIG DAY Landlady Sarah Wood and her father Steve at Ruby's pub in Portsmouth

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PUB landlady Sarah Wood is all too familiar with the expression ‘keeping it in the family’.

Sarah and her dad Steve are now celebrating 50 years as a family-run business for a city pub.

The Royal Standard pub, also known as Ruby’s, in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth, was taken over by Ruby Hardwick on March 15, 1961.

She ran it for more than 40 years before granddaughter Sarah took over in 2001 after Ruby became ill.

She still helped out but died in 2003.

Now, Sarah and Steve are celebrating 50 years and are putting their support firmly behind The News’ Love Your Local campaign.

Sarah, 41, said: ‘It’s fantastic. It’s something I’m passionate about.

‘When I took this business over I never thought I would be here 10 years later.

‘But to be here myself 10 years on is a real achievement. Especially in the current climate of British pubs disappearing.

‘It’s got a lot of history. Everyone loves Ruby’s. It’s known all around the world.

‘It’s brilliant, because I don’t think many people can celebrate that.

‘I have always taken the place for granted but you take each day as it comes.

‘I’m proud of it and that’s what I am passionate about, which is why I try and keep it going for as long as I can.’

Landlord Steve, 65, added: ‘It’s brilliant. We have such lovely customers. We have enjoyed it.

‘It’s one of those pubs where we have got no problems. It just flows. It’s a good local community pub, it’s got a good atmosphere.’

Punter Michael Sanders, 68, from Balliol Road in Portsmouth, has been drinking at the pub on and off for the past 50 years, while he was serving in the Merchant Navy.

‘He said: ‘We always came to see Ruby, we travelled from Southampton.

‘It’s a real community pub. It’s got good character. It never has any problems. It’s got a nice ambience.

‘It’s a family-run pub which has been handed down to generations.

‘The family have respect for the local people who use it. We are part of a family.’

Celebrations were held at the pub on Saturday, with donations going to the RNLI and the Royal British Legion.