A HUSBAND and wife team who decided to try running a pub ‘for a couple of years’ are celebrating two decades at the helm.

Despite having no previous experience, Craig and Debbie Mansell decided to take on a new challenge and began running the White Boar in Bury in 2000.

Over the years the couple have faced changes and obstacles, including the impacts of new laws such as the Smoking Ban and most recently, the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Craig and Debbie, who have been married for 30 years, have emerged with a much-loved community pub that’s known for its home-cooked food, live sports, live entertainment and Bury Darts League.

The Thwaites Pub in Radcliffe Road re-opened on July 6 with new safe-guarding measures, including a one-way system with separate entry and exit doors, a check-in facility by QR code and table service.

Craig, who met wife Debbie when they were both 19, said: “Neither of us can believe it’s been 20 years since we started running the White Boar.

"We’ve been through some ups and downs as the hospitality industry has evolved, but we’ve adapted the pub to keep up with what our customers want.

"It’s been a trying and scary time recently but we’ve worked hard on our social distancing and hygiene measures to make sure people feel safe to return and can still relax.

Daniel Thwaites, which has around 250 Pubs, Inns and Hotels with Spas around the country, invested over a quarter of a million pounds to refurbish the White Boar on three separate occasions since 2003.

Craig added: “Debbie and I make a great team because we have a strong relationship.

"We’re both social people which is good because running a pub is not a job, it’s a way of life – and we’re hoping for a few more years of it.”