Piel Island: Ferry skipper excited for island pub opening

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Paul Wilcock steers his vesselImage source, Piel Ferry
Image caption,
Piel Island ferry skipper Paul Wilcock said he hopes to be taking lots of customers to the Ship Inn

The skipper of an island ferry said he is excited at the reopening of an inn after the search for a new publican gained global attention.

The Ship Inn on Piel Island is due to reopen on Monday after more than 190 people expressed an interest in becoming its official King or Queen.

Submarine electrician Aaron Sanderson was Barrow Council's chosen candidate.

Piel Island ferry captain Paul Wilcock said he hoped to be carrying lots of passengers to the island and its pub.

Mr Wilcock, who runs the ferry from Roa Island, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "It's been very quiet, not having any pub open on Piel.

"I'm hoping for a good summer, taking lots of customers over."

Image source, Simon Ledingham/Geograph
Image caption,
Piel Island only covers about 50 acres (20 hectares) and the only other buildings are three houses and a ruined 14th-Century castle

He said Mr Sanderson was well-known locally and came across as a "nice and determined guy" who had some "really good plans for the pub going forward".

The search for a new King or Queen of Piel - the title bestowed on the landlord of the Ship Inn - attracted global interest, with news outlets in Canada and the USA among those to have taken on the story.

Councillor Bill McEwan said the council, which is the custodian of Piel Island, would be giving Mr Sanderson "100% backing".

Image source, Ian Taylor/Geograph
Image caption,
The publican becomes the official King or Queen of Piel Island

Steph Cordon, the borough council's director of people and place, said: "He will start off just serving drinks and then he will go on to food.

"This is a childhood dream that he is realising."

Mr Sanderson previously said his appointment had been "wonderful and overwhelming" and he was "incredibly excited about the journey we're on in this very special place".

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