Popular Colne landlady steps down

Photo Neil Cross'Maggie Owens stepping down from her role as landlady of the Union Exchange. The prominent pub will be taken over by her close friend Jamie Hargreaves
Photo Neil Cross'Maggie Owens stepping down from her role as landlady of the Union Exchange. The prominent pub will be taken over by her close friend Jamie Hargreaves
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A popular landlady, who has been at the heart of a prominent Colne pub for more than 15 years, is set to step down from her role.

The Union Exchange’s Maggie Owens will be officially handing over the baton to her close friend Jamie Hargreaves today.

She has made the tough decision due to her own ill health, but says she will still be playing a huge part in the Market Street pub’s functions and activities. She will also spend time working at the nearby venue The Commercial Hotel.

The 51-year-old, who is set to go to Greece on Tuesday, said: “This has been my decision, nobody else’s - it is something that I have to do because of my health.

“I am still going to be involved in a very big way and I am still going to do all my functions, so people don’t need to worry about that.

“Jamie is such a good lad - we are really good friends, and I trust him. He deserves this so much.

“He is a bit nervous but very excited, I think he will be a really good manager - he is young, hardworking and very eager.

“All staff jobs are safe, nothing is going to change in that way.

“I would like to thank everybody for their support over the years, I have made a lot of wonderful friends.

“It is going to be slightly easier as it is still going to be a big part of my life, and I am not going to be far across the road.”

In her first five months at The Union Exchange, Maggie took the pub to award-winning status, and later introduced a function room into the venue.

Her boss James Waddington said: “Maggie is one of our operators - she is very well thought of and it will be a shame to see her go. She is fantastic.

“We are hopefully going to retain her in an advisory capacity, so she will not do the day-to-day grind but will still be involved.”

And talking of his new role, Jamie (25), who has worked at The Wallace Hartley and the Spinning Mill, said: “I am looking forward to it - I am glad to get the chance to be running my own pub.

“I have got one hell of a big pair of shoes to fill, but Maggie is going to be there to support me if I need it.”