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Last orders at historic pub

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ANNAN’S oldest pub which has numbered Robbie Burns and Bonnie Prince Charlie among its customers will close its doors for good next month.

The final pints will be served at Back to the Buck on Sunday January 26.

Landlord Steven Ceates, known as his Ceatsy to his regulars, yesterday revealed the decision to shut has been six months in the making and said: “Running pubs is a hard trade and The Buck has suffered a poor past quarter. I think this is the correct time to leave if I’m being honest.”

He added: “I have seen a 25 per cent drop in sales year by year. The younger generations are focused on being active and drinking in a pub is just not a popular trend for them.”

His bond with The Buck, which has also been known as The Auberge in the past, started 20 years ago when he was a barman there, before he took over running it alongside his other pub, The Shed. But, like other UK pubs, he has faced a range of issues, including the rising cost of BT Sport and Sky and increasing beer taxes. Steven said: “The daytime trade is no longer there and the size of The Buck just does not bring in the trade compared to The Shed.

“I am closing one pub to protect the future of the other one.”

Although events such as bank holidays and the Riding of the Marches bring in extra trade, he says it is no longer consistent enough through the rest of the year. Steven said: “I have enjoyed owning two pubs but the passion has dropped unfortunately and I’ll just be focusing on The Shed. This is a pub which will go on forever.”

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