Deeside pub owners call it a day

Graeme and Shirley Wight bid farewell to The Ploughman
Graeme and Shirley Wight bid farewell to The Ploughman

A Deeside couple have called time after running a pub for more than 30 years.

Graeme and Shirley Wight were given an emotional send-off when they retired from the Ploughman at Peterculter.

The new owners of the Ploughman, Simon Cruickshank, left, and Alistair Dornan

The new owners of the Ploughman, Simon Cruickshank, left, and Alistair Dornan

The couple, who live in Drumoak, clocked up 33 years at the popular bar and restaurant.

They took over the pub in June, 1985, and steadily built up its reputation for “good pub grub” over the decades.

Graeme, 72, Shirley, 73, were very much hands on at the Ploughman and it was a big decision to retire.

Shirley told the Piper: “Our family have been on at us for a while, telling us we should be taking things a bit easier..

“We’re not the type that can take a back seat and we have become known as ‘Mr and Mrs Ploughman’.”

The couple, who moved from farming into the licensed trade, enjoyed a special farewell weekend with staff and customers.

Shirley said: “We have got to know so many people over the years.

“We were overwhelmed with the presents and good wishes. It’s been a really emotional time.”

Graeme and Shirley, who have a son and a daughter, plan to take things easy for a while and spend more time with their family.

The new mine hosts are Simon Cruickshank, owner of the nearby Richmond Arms pub, and Alistair Dornan, previously a director of oil and gas engineering businesses.

Simon owned the Bieldside Inn, which he sold in 2003 after 13 years at the helm, and then bought the Richmond Arms in 2004.

He said: “We’re delighted to have acquired a well-run business, and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Graeme and Shirley all the best in their retirement.

“They built up a hospitality business that stuck to a traditional Scottish pub theme and we intend to continue their good work.

“We will be seeking feedback from staff and customers as we look to invest in the business.”

All staff - five full-time and 19 part-time - at the Ploughman are being retained.