IF the face behind the bar at the Tollemache Arms looks familiar to local customers they would be correct.
The Mossley pub, closed since the start of lockdown in March, re-opened on Monday, September 14 with Mark McDermott pulling the pints and welcoming customers to the Manchester Road hostelry.
Mark, who has taken over as tenant with wife Gel, previously ran another local pub on the Tameside-Saddleworth border for brewers, Robinsons.
“I was the landlord at the Dysarts between 2004-07,” he explained.
“I haven’t been in the licensing trade since then and for the last few years have run part of a global chauffeur business.
“Then this pub came on the market. An area manager I know asked if I would be interested and I said I would be happy to give it a go.
“I picked up the keys last week and we have had a manic five days, with the family helping out to get it ready for opening.
“I just want to get it back to where it was which was a thriving local pub where people come in for a drink, a laugh, to watch the football and to enjoy themselves.
“We used to have a friendly rivalry with the Tolle when I was at the Dysarts.
“Both pubs had golf societies and we had charity cricket matches with teams representing Lord Tollemache and Lady Dysarts at Saddleworth Cricket Club.”
The Tollemache, with its old charm and backing on to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, is open seven days a week from 12noon.
It is believed to have been converted into a pub between 1847 and 1866. It has been part of the Robinson portfolio since 1926.