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Operator celebrates 50 ‘remarkable years’ in pub

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

Graham Roper celebrates 50 'remarkable' years at his pub
Graham Roper celebrates 50 'remarkable' years at his pub

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An operator has celebrated 50 ‘remarkable’ years at his pub by charging customers 10p for a pint of beer — the price of a pint in 1966 when the site was first purchased. 

On Friday 11 November Graham Roper celebrated his time at the Swan Inn in Abbotsbury, in Dorset, in the company of 150 guests. 

He said: “We had a marvellous time.”

Roper took over the pub in his early 20s after he was appointed by Devenish Brewery.

Changes in the industry

Roper said he has seen many changes in the trade since he first started. He added:  "The most significant change for us has been the smoking ban in 2007. Lots of families would not come in the pub because of the smoke.

“The smokers did not seem to have a problem with the new legislation.”

He also expressed concerns over the rising business rates that are likely to affect many pubs next year.

He said: "The Government needs to do something about it, it is one the industry's current headaches, it is awful for businesses, everybody's struggling at the moment.”

The pub has undergone several refurbishments in the past, including a bar extension and the development of accommodation facilities. In 1978 Roper purchased the vicarage opposite the pub, which was converted into a five-bedroom guest lodge.

Future plans

Roper said the pub was slowly being taken over by his daughter, but the business shows no signs of stopping.

“Just keep going with it,” he said.  



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