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Help Wanted: Pub Staff, Must Love Small Island Living

Help Wanted: Pub Staff, Must Love Small Island Living

A tiny island that has “everything and nothing” needs new staff to work in a pub that never closes its doors.

Fatima Iglesias

The successful applicants will get their own cottage to live in, a commute of a few hundred metres and a ready-made group of friends

Lundy, which has a population of 27 permanent staff, lies 11 miles off the coast of North Devon and is just three miles long and half a mile wide

Despite its isolated location, current staff say life there is never lonely

The Landmark Trust, which has been managing Lundy for 50 years, is advertising for two couples to move to the island

Three of the four people will work as general assistants at the only pub, the Marisco Tavern, and the fourth job is for an island maintenance person

The pub keeps its doors open 24 hours a day so people can use the payphone, or campers can avoid the rain

It is also the only building on the island to have lighting after the generators shut down for the night — another quirk new staff will have to get used to in their own homes

Island manager Rob Waterfield said the biggest skill staff needed was tolerance

“You have really got to learn to accept people’s faults and their idiosyncrasies,” he said

He said the pub was a “massive part of the community” and added: “Everyone meets up, everyone goes. It is a really old-fashioned way of living

Zoe Barton, 29, who came to Lundy with her partner two and a half years ago, said island life was quite vibrant and it was hard to be lonely

“Sometimes you want a night in and you have to say ‘I want to be alone tonight’

“You have to be specific or people will keep texting you like ‘when are you coming down for a drink’,” she said

Working in the tavern will mean serving staff, volunteers and visitors, including many who return regularly to the island

Pub regular Adrian Smith, 55, from near Preston, first came to Lundy as a child on a day trip in 1975

A day trip turned into yearly family holidays and then 13 years ago he started bringing his own sons to the island he describes as “magical”

“It is one of those places where I say to people there is nothing and everything here,” he said

“There is nothing on tap for you, you find what you want but there’s castles to explore, there are lighthouses to climb, there is prehistoric hut circles you can sit in

Mr Smith said the Marisco Tavern was “a proper pub in terms of what a pub used to be as a hub, as a focal point of the village”

He added: “It is the only place in the world I think I have ever been the last one kicked out of the pub.”

Receptionist Shelley Sherman, who has worked on Lundy for 11 years and met her husband there, said there was one thing that helped make the small community work

“We have all got a common love of the island and that goes a long way to holding us all together,” she said