A PUB landlord, who was given the chance to run his own bar by his brothers, is celebrating 20 years in the business.
Carl Fitzmaurice was handed the keys to Kennedy’s bar in Tyne Dock, South Shields, two decades ago by his brothers Stephen and Michael.
It was an opportunity as a 24-year-old he says he couldn’t pass up.
Mr Fitzmaurice, 44, said: “Over the past 20 years we have had a lot of high points – the Millennium celebrations, World Cups, the Olympics.
“The biggest heartache has been the floods we have suffered in the past. The pub was regularly flooded during heavy downpours hitting South Tyneside.
“But a lot of work has been carried out by Northumbrian Water to correct the problem so, hopefully, that is now in the past.”
Mr Fitzmaurice says during his time as owner he has been amazed at how far people have travelled to the bar.
He added: “From the outside I think people don’t think it is up to much but it is lovely inside. We have a lot of people who come here regularly and not all of them live locally.
“We have people who come from the Lawe Top and The Lonnen and over the years a lot of the regulars have become friends.
“But that’s just the kind of pub this is, everyone is friendly and go out of their way to make people feel welcome.
“The pub trade is not an easy industry and it has been a struggle at times, but we have some good loyal regulars who support us.”
As well as himself, Carl also employs two members of staff with hopes to expand the numbers in the future.
Mr Fitzmaurice, who was once a barman at the West Park before taking over the running of Kennedy’s, added: “When you start out in the pub trade you think you know everything you need to know to be able to run a bar, but when you actually do it, you realise there is still a lot more to learn.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work here and I’m looking forward to the future.”