Here’s Jonny - back to his old stomping ground

In Business: The Derby Arms pub is set to reopen next month, with Jonny Parkinson,below, at the helm
In Business: The Derby Arms pub is set to reopen next month, with Jonny Parkinson,below, at the helm
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A Longridge man is hoping a newly-refurbished pub will bring back the community spirit to the heart of the village.

Jonny Parkinson, who started his catering career a decade ago while studying hospitality and catering at Preston College at The Derby Arms in Thornley, is set to return as the general manager when the pub re-opens its doors later this month.

Jonny Parkinson from Longridge is taking over the helm at the newly-opened Derby Arms

Jonny Parkinson from Longridge is taking over the helm at the newly-opened Derby Arms

Jonny, who lives in the village, said: “I had no idea there was such a buzz about what’s going on, everybody was gutted when it closed.

“It’s such a community pub and everyone knows everyone around here so I’ve had a lot of people coming up to me asking when we are going to be opening.

“There used to be 11 pubs around here, now there are three so it’s nice to be able to be part of getting things moving in the area again.

“It’s going to be brilliant.”

Three years ago, 29-year-old, Jonny joined the Seafood Pub Company who have taken over The Derby Arms, and has worked at both the Assheton Arms in Downham and as assistant manager of the Oyster & Otter on the outskirts of Blackburn.

But it was when two friends of the founder and managing director of the company, Jocelyn Neve, got engaged at the Oyster and Otter on Christmas Eve, that she learnt of Jonny’s connection to the Derby Arms and invited him to move up to the new role.

Jonny said: “The chap that used to run the Derby Arms when I first worked here was an absolute legend.

“He was the best front man you could have wished for in a pub like this.

“If I can give the customers half the experience he used to give I’m sure we’ll soon have everybody back here.”