Val Wilson will pour her last pint at The Anchor Inn in Kempsey next week and hand over the reins to her son Philip.

The difficult decision to stand down was made because of her health and following the death of her husband, Steven, earlier this year.

The couple decided to take over The Anchor Inn in 2019 and Mrs Wilson said they were made to feel so welcome by everyone.

She said: “It is with a heavy heart but I am stepping down from running the Anchor as of Tuesday.

“Everyone showed us amazing support throughout the years, through Covid and everything and some I can now call my friends.

“Then 2023 started the worst way ever, and I lost Steven.

“But everyone continued to show their love and support to me, for which I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

“With my health, I have taken this hard decision and I am stepping aside and leaving you all in the good hands of my son Philip who will be taking over as manager.”

Mrs Wilson said her son has been behind the bar since the couple had taken over and, despite his nerves, will be great in his new role.

Mrs Wilson said she is planning on becoming a regular customer of the pub and will enjoy going from behind the bar to sitting in front of it.

Looking to the future, she hopes to spend more time with her grandchild and plans to become a ‘lady of leisure’.