A former nurse and a former primary school teacher have placed themselves under starters orders after putting their professional careers on hold to oversee the launch of a brand new brewery tap which is set to open its doors later this month.
Sheffield’s popular Stancill Brewery purchased the freehold of the Horse & Jockey in Wadsley in May and since then the brewery team have set their sights on transforming the run-down pub into Sheffield’s newest beer haven.
Inside the bar, the Horse & Jockey has received an extensive makeover, with ten new hand pumps added to the bar allowing it to feature Stancill Brewery’s complete range of beers, including its award-winning Barnsley Bitter, named last year as Yorkshire’s champion bitter, and newly launched Stancill Lager as well as a changing selection of specials.
The pub will be managed by Ashleigh McMain, 21. Just eight weeks ago the idea of running a pub had been little more than a pipe dream which soon turned into reality after she received an unexpected phone call from Thomas Gill, managing director of Stancil brewery.
Ashleigh McMain, manager, the Horse and Jockey said: “I’ve always liked the idea of running a pub, but after leaving school I decided to put my dreams on hold and pursue a career in nursing, however, it wasn’t really what I expected. I’d worked with Tom when we were both at college stacking shelves in a local supermarket and remained good friends, but when he sent me a text message out of the blue asking me if I wanted the chance to run the Horse & Jockey, I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.
“Moving from nursing to pub management isn’t a typical career move, but they both have several things in common: Caring for others, getting to know new people and making sure that visitors of being looked after. It’s created a lot of interest from our regulars, many of whom hadn’t tried a hand pulled ale before we opened! We’re hoping to add regular events to the calendar in the future, but it’s been a really positive start.
“When we got the keys to pub, it was clear that the building had been neglected for some time and the pub felt very run down. We decided to give the inside a complete overhaul to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and so far it’s been well received. When we first opened the doors a nearby resident came in to see what we were doing and she told us that although she lived across the road from the pub, she hadn’t ventured inside for more than twenty years!”
Matt Weigold, events manager, the Horse and Jockey said: “I’ve known Tom for a long time and it’s been great to see the brewery transform from an idea into a successful business. I wanted to help play a part in the future of the business, so agreed to help organise different events and activities to help the pub to thrive. It’s perhaps not an obvious career move, but I’m sure my planning skills will come into good use, and learning about the different types of beers Stancill produces has certainly been an education!”
Situated on the site of Wadsley’s medieval village green, the earliest record of the Horse & Jockey can be traced back to 1833, when John Green was the landlord of the pub.
Thomas Gill, Managing Director, Stancill Brewery said: “One of the most common questions I get asked is where our beers can be purchased. Although we are featured regularly in lots of pubs across Yorkshire and the Midlands, we felt opening up a brewery tap would help fans of our beers to find the complete range in one location.
“It’s a significant step in the development of our business as running a pub is very different to running a brewery, but it’s an exciting step in the growth and evolution of our business.”
The Horse and Jockey will officially open its doors on Friday July 29. During the evening the pub will feature live music and food provided by the nether edge pizza company. More information about the pub can be found on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/horseandjockeystancillbrewery/