Carol Scanlan, now aged 67, took on the Black Swan in Coningsby, which is wet-led and owned by Star Pubs & Bars, in 1983 when she was 27 years old with her late husband Tom, transforming the venue into a hub for the area.
Having revamped the pub, which is estimated to date back to the 1800’s, when they took over, the Scanlans kept its “traditional look”, featuring wooden beams, a log burner, horse brasses and pictures of the Black Swan and surrounding area in bygone days.
Originally from Liverpool, Carol and Tom only planned to stay at the Black Swan for ten years, however the duo soon “fell in love” with the pub.
“We immediately fell in love with the pub and clicked with the regulars. They soon became good friends.
“I’ve been serving some for 40 years, and their children and grandchildren are now customers.
“It’s my love of the pub, the people and the community that keep me here. It’s not work to me; there’s nowhere I’d rather be", Carol said.
Since Tom’s death seven years ago, Carol’s son Lee, who is 36 years old grew up at the pub, has returned to run it full time, whilst these days Carol is more likely to be found on the other side of the bar, collecting glasses and chatting with customers.
Carol continued: “I couldn't have kept going for so long without Lee’s help. It’s fantastic that he is carrying on the family tradition.”
The pub also fulfils an important role for personnel from RAF Coningsby as a home away from home where they can get to know the village.
Inspired by Tom – who helped revitalise Coningsby football team – sport is also a big feature of the pub.
Coningsby football team still drink at the Black Swan, and the pub has a pool table, pool teams and a darts board and hosts screenings of major tournaments for residents.
Lee added: “I’m very proud of mum and dad’s achievements. Coningsby has changed out of all recognition since they started out.
“I can see how much people appreciate the sense of continuity the pub provides, and how it can help introduce new residents to the village.
“I am delighted to have the chance to keep that going. I can’t think of any other job that would give me so much satisfaction.”
The pubco explained Scanlan was thought to be the longest-serving licensee in the area, and recently awarded her with a long-service award, adding the accolade “couldn’t be more well deserved”.
Star Pubs & Bars area manager, Lincolnshire Dan Littlewood said: “Carol and Lee are respected figures of their community.
“Thanks to the Scanlan family’s genuine hospitality over four decades, the pub has stood the test of time and epitomises all that is best about the great British local.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and testimony to the important role that pubs continue to play in society.”