THERE’S a new landlord at the Diggle Hotel but Bill Buckley needs little introduction to many members of the Saddleworth community.
Bill, 62, from Delph, has returned to the area after six years running holiday resorts and campsites in southern France.
A keen sportsman with nearly four decades of service for Delph and Dobcross cricket club, Bill was previously mine host at a hat-trick of local pubs, including the Cloggers Arms in Uppermill.
So, the Diggle Hotel, granted a hotel and inn licence in 1859, looks to be in safe pair of hands with Bill and partner Sue.
After an official handover on November 9, the Diggle opens with extended hours and new menus on Friday, November 11. The hotel’s six-bedroom accommodation will also be available again.
“It doesn’t need a great deal doing to it, other than it needs to open,” said Bill, bolstered in his new venture by more than a quarter of a century in the trade. “You cannot run a pub in office hours.”
As part of the transformation customers will be able to choose from a variety of menus starting at lunchtime from 12 noon.
A brunch/bar snack menu will run through from noon-9pm with a speciality menu available from 5pm-9pm.
“But we are not going away from the fact we are a pub with food,” added Bill. “We are not a restaurant.
“For us, the big thing will be value for money; restaurant quality food but at sensible prices.
“We also have the biggest square footage of outdoor land of any pub in Saddleworth and we want to make the most of this space.
“The views from the beer garden are excellent. People have got used now to drinking outside pubs more.
“So we will have a couple of firepits plus there is a marquee for people to sit under.”
Tiger Rut will be served via the ‘landlord’s pump’ with other cask ales available including Black Sheep and Wainwrights plus premium lagers.
“I haven’t worked since being abroad and I have been looking for an opportunity,” Bill said. “I wanted something local and the Diggle is the right fit.”