The Good News: Joseph Holt appoints its 'youngest landlady'

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Good news: there is lots going on across the industry (image: Getty/Richard Drury)
Good news: there is lots going on across the industry (image: Getty/Richard Drury)

Related tags Events Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office

We acknowledge the sector is facing an extremely tough time with challenges left, right and centre.

However, we also want to show the positive news going on within the industry and here is where we will be highlighting good news by regularly updating this story.

To kick us off we’ve taken a look at some of the good news over the past few days and weeks.



Manchester-based business Joseph Holt has hired its youngest ever landlady.

Zoe Carnan, aged 25, has been appointed to run the Clock Tower in Northwich, Cheshire.

The licensee has launched free weekly salsa lessons for customers, one of the many new initiatives she is planning at the pub.

She said: "I was approached by a customer who comes from Venezuela and he told me he really wanted to do something for the local community. As an experienced salsa dance, he suggested offering complimentary sessions at the pub.

"I thought it sounded such fun, so lively as well a great form of exercise. It was also likely to be a new experience for lots of people so I immediately said yes to the idea. Our classes cater for all levels and abilities and unlike other places that offer lessons are free.

"So, it really is an open invitation to enjoy the rhythms of this wonderful Latin dance."

Zoe has worked for the family-owned firm for seven years, starting with a casual bar work role while at college. She has worked her way up after completing a qualification in health and social care and gradually, Zoe assumed more management responsibility before being offered the chance to take over the Clock Tower.

She added: "It's quite a steep learning curve but also extremely exciting too. Pubs today are so much more than places to have a beer or something to eat.

"Joseph Holt pubs are at the heart of the community and host so many activities, social groups, events and more. Salsa sessions are just the start of what is going to be an exciting new phase for the Clock Tower."

The business has been in the same family for six generations and is celebrating its 175th​ anniversary this year, which it is marking with a commemorative lager.

Operation director Mark Norbury said: "Joseph Holt offers so many career opportunities and many entry level staff have worked their way up to managing their own pubs.

"Zoe is a great example of this as well as a huge asset to the brewery. We are all delighted to see her hard work, enthusiasm and enterprise being recognised at such a young age. I'm sure under her stewardship, the Clock Tower will go from strength to strength."


Last month (March) was The Morning Advertiser​’s Publican Awards. Businesses from across the sector and across the country were celebrated and honoured with the prestigious awards.

You can read more the winners here​.

Following this, The Morning Advertiser​ editor Ed Bedington wrote about why we should appreciate the positives​ within the industry.

Just this week, licensees of a village pub celebrated 40 years​ at their Suffolk-based site. Barry and Jane Waterman took on the White Horse in Beyton – a Greene King Pub Partners venue – in 1984.

The pair have operated pubs in partnership with Greene King for a total of 47 years, starting at their first pub in Cambridge in 1977, making them among Greene King’s longest serving tenants.

Furthermore, the recent Easter bank holiday proved positive​ for a number of operators. Lincoln-based business Strait and Narrow saw a strong lead up to the long weekend.

Operator Jez Nash said Good Friday (29 March) was the best ever for the site, with the bar three deep at midday.

Sunshine in Suffolk meant the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell had a “cracking bank holiday weekend’s trade”, owner Brendan Padfield told The Morning Advertiser​.

On the subject of weather, while it was a stormy night on Thursday 28 March, even the front door being blown off didn’t stop customers flocking to the Kings Arms in Bexleyheath, Kent during the Easter period.

Licensee Pete Marshall labelled the weekend as “positive” with lots of great customer feedback and lots of fun.

Sticking with Easter, Proper Pubs – the community wet-led division of Admiral Taverns – successfully collected more than 17,600 chocolate eggs to donate to communities in need across England, Scotland and Wales.

Since the beginning of March, each Proper Pub has been encouraged to collect as many chocolate Easter eggs as possible to try to ensure as many people across the UK have a sweet treat to look forward to.

Every pub chose a selection of local initiatives to donate to with one pub – the Queens in Bredbury, Stockport – collecting more than 1,000 Easter eggs for cancer treatment centre The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

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