Paul is pub saviour of Queen Victoria

Darfield's Queen Victoria landlady Racheal Jeakins celebrates after her pub was bought by regular Paul Harper.  Picture: Liz Mockler S0920LM
Darfield's Queen Victoria landlady Racheal Jeakins celebrates after her pub was bought by regular Paul Harper. Picture: Liz Mockler S0920LM
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ONE good turn deserves another - and if that means buying a pub to keep a great landlady in a job, so be it!

When Wombwell man Paul Harper fractured his skull and broke his spine in a freak fall at home, Darfield publican Racheal Jeakins raised £1500 to help the stricken family.

So when Racheal’s five-year term at the Queen Vic pub, Darfield came under threat - pub regular Paul pulled out all the stops, and bought the building!

Family man Paul was left paralysed from the waist down after falling just eight feet through his garage roof. He claims it was his “fantastic” family and friends who kept him going, and is determined to give something back to the community.

Paul, 47, of Haverhill Grove said: “I was born and bred in this area and know the Queen Vic to be a strong community-based pub with an exceptionally good landlady.

“I heard the pub was for sale and it seemed a good proposition. Racheal was willing to stop on and run it, so we’re having a go. It’s a great investment opportunity and will give me a focus”.

He added: “You hear of few pubs doing well these days but the Vic is an exception. We’ll be doing it up bit by bit, to suit the community, and as we generate income we’ll plough it back in”.

During her time at the Queen Vic, Racheal has amassed almost £15,500 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and is renowned for her madcap fundraiser stunts.

The 40-year old claims to love pub life and the regulars she calls friends. She dreaded being forced to move after her initial owning company went in to administration.

Now looking forward happily to a business partnership with Paul, she said: “For a little community boozer this is a very busy pub with lots going on. It has been a drawn-out wrangle to get everything settled but the deal is now sealed.

“Paul is an incredibly nice man who has been through a lot. He’s determined to make a go of this, and watching him in action so far, I’m sure he will.

“The outside of the pub will be spruced up first with a ‘modern new look’, then the inside, with better Sky sports facilities and the lot!” said Racheal. “Theme nights and quiz nights for Bluebell Wood will continue as usual”.

The pair are keen to gather local photographs and memorabilia for wall display. Any photographs of sports winners, teams, animals or other of community interest would be welcome. Racheal will copy and return immediately. Contact her on 07980 289487.