New landlords to Tolle the bell in Mossley

NEW landlords with the ethos of ‘evolution rather than revolution’ have promised to make their mark at a Mossley pub by making it better.

Wesley Howard and his uncle, Steve Newton, took on the Tollemache Arms on Manchester Road earlier this month.

And after having had their eye on running a pub, particularly Steve, for several years, the aim is to make what it has now better rather than completely changing it.

Wesley said: “We’re not going in there to rip things up. The previous landlord did a great job, effectively saving it from being shut to be brutally honest.

New landlords Steve Newton and Wesley Howard outside the Tollemache | Photo by Gemma Carter

“At the moment, our thoughts are, ‘we don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken.’

“Now we’re going to be doing things to bring it more to the heart of the community.

“For Steve, the idea of running the pub is something he’d had for a long time – this was the third time he’d actually gone for this one.

“You can probably go back more than 20 years. He’s ran others before but this one has held quite a special place for him as when he was younger, he played football out of it.

Wesley with his first customer, Mic Cullen at the Tollemache | Photo by Gemma Carter

“I’m looking at the front end of the business, more the operations side. We looked at it just before we came out of the first lockdown.

“We didn’t get it on that occasion but when it became available again, we thought, ‘We’ve go to do it.’

“We’ve done many things together but we challenge each other too. We’ve always had a phenomenal working relationship, with absolute respect at its core.

“But if I think he’s doing something wrong, I’ll tell him. Likewise, he will to me.”

Wesley, who worked in the whisky industry previously, has hopes to develop the Tollemache’s location into something the pub can take advantage of.

Wesley Howard and Steve Newton at the Tollemache

But at its heart is the fact the local community can go there and have a friendly drink.

He added: “In many ways, the Tollemache is a quintessential pub, which is something we both feel is missing from society.

“Many places do food but there are few where you can just have a drink and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought that would snap back again.

“The pub where you can just have a drink would have the opportunity to be the centre of the community – for me in that part of Mossley, there’s not that there.

“The regulars have been absolutely fantastic, the reception’s been incredibly warm. Everyone was pleased we got it as we’ve brought an air of stability.

“We’re going to do things around the Queen’s Jubilee, we want to bring the community on as well and ultimately the idea is to open it up to new people.

“We don’t serve food but we’re going to be launching a new wine menu soon. We’ll look to work with local suppliers too.”

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