Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Council seeks applications for managing Piel Island

Piel Island

Applications are being sought for someone to manage the Ship Inn and also run Piel Island, on which it sits, off the coast of Cumbria

A council has launched a search to find the next island ‘monarch’ and pub landlord for one of England’s most remote watering holes.

Applications are being sought for someone to manage the unique Ship Inn and also run tiny Piel Island, on which it sits, off the coast of Cumbria.

A temporary partnership called the Piel Island Pub Company ran the pub when it reopened in July after lockdowns and Covid-19. But this was a temporary arrangement and so in January the right landlord person with ‘sound local knowledge’ will be sought.

The Ship Inn is more than 300 years old and tradition says each new landlord is crowned ‘King of Piel’, sits in an ancient chair, wears a helmet and holds a sword while alcohol is poured over their head.

The island’s future – off the southern tip of the Furness Peninsula – was discussed last week by Barrow Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Committee vice-chair Cllr Frank Cassidy said: It’s important the right people are installed, people with sound local knowledge, a feel for the island and its history.

Sandra Baines, head of visitor economy and culture at the council, said it was very much about preserving its beauty, its natural habitat. But she added there were also potential drawbacks of life on the island and it is ‘not the dream people might think it is’.

While Chris Jones, the council’s head of programme management and climate change, said: There are significant constraints to living and working on Piel Island and people need to think about that.

Supporters who started a petition to save the island, called it ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the area and a ‘vital part of our heritage’.


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