For the past few years, since the first time I discovered it, the Kirkless Hall Inn has been a regular finishing point for many a cycle ride. The first time I arrived, caked in mud, sweaty and decidedly thirsty I was made very welcome by Jill Jolly, the landlady and queen of the bar. That first day she served me a superb and refreshing pint of Summer Lightening and I was hooked.
Not only was the beer first class, but I later found out that their pub food was pretty good as well. For someone like me who is a relative stranger to the insides of pubs, this was a revelation.
The Kirkless Hall Inn has become the family's regular stopping off point, a place for us to relax in a beautiful spot. The half-timbered pub providing am eye-catching backdrop to the locks. A place where me and the girls have spent many a happy hour watching the bright and colourful canal boats as they made their way up from or down to Wigan. On hot summer days, the pub and the lockside would be buzzing with people also enjoying the environment. A truly wonderful place.
Jill & Bob Jolly, the landlord and lady were the people who worked tirelessly to ensure that welcome was always there. They got to know us very well, and were often interested in our exploits out on the bikes. Whatever condition we were in, and sometimes that was pretty mucky, we were always made to feel welcome. Mum had her 81st birthday lunch at the pub and it was a really jolly time helped by the kind attention of Jill & Bob.
Today was Jill and Bob's last Sunday running the pub. They retire this week and head off to pastures new. Jill wants to spend more time with her family and grandchildren. They will be sadly missed by us, and talking to others at the pub, they feel the same. They have left a very high standard for those who will follow to attain, and we all look forward to that with interest.
But to Bob & Jill, many thanks for your many kindnesses. For maintaining a good cellar and excellent food. Good luck for the future, you will be missed.