Pub celebrates after winning Good Pub Guide 2014 award

Ray and Jo Lambe, who run the Red Lion in Preston

Ray and Jo Lambe, who run the Red Lion in Preston - Credit: Archant

GLASSES were clinking even more than usual in a Comet country pub, which has just been named as one of the best in the country.

The Red Lion in Preston has been celebrating after winning value pub of the year in the Good Pub Guide 2014 awards.

Run by Ray and Jo Lambe, The Red Lion is owned by locals, who purchased the building 30 years ago.

It is the country’s first community owned pub.

Ray, who has been running the establishment with wife Jo for about four-and-a-half years, said: “To be honest, I didn’t even know we were in the running – it’s all done in secret and we didn’t know anything about it.

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“Seeing yourself get national recognition and people ringing up from all round the country congratulating you – it’s a big honour.

“We found out a few weeks ago, but weren’t allowed to say anything. It was quite hard sitting on that information.”

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The pub had to demonstrate it offered good, quality products for reasonable prices in order to win.

As well as being named in the Good Pub 2014 guide, it has received a commemorative plaque which will be displayed proudly on the wall, and is among 15 pubs across the UK to win an award.

“It’s nice to have a pat on the back,” said Ray.

“The kudos of being one of the best 10 or so pubs in the country for whatever reason, it’s an honour.

“Other pubs in the area have been congratulating us. People have been coming to see what value pub entails, it’s brought in new customers already.”

On why he thought the pub had won, he added: “It’s not always been a smooth path, but a lot has been achieved over the years and now it’s thriving.

“It’s nice because, rather than a faceless company, it’s locally run.”

The pub and its customers plan to officially celebrate the award later this year.

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