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Mum hoping to breathe new life into Derby pub

The new landlady of a pub in the middle of a Derby suburb has said she is hoping it can become a central location in the community which can help residents avoid loneliness during the winter. Shelly Shaw took over The Robin, in Devonshire Drive, Mickleover, just over a month ago after managing a pub in Sheffield for seven months.

The 50-year-old lives at the pub and has three staff to help her, including her daughter, Sophie. But the first month has not been without its issues, with no gas connection to the pub in the first few weeks.

Shelly has had to resort to using electric heaters until the issue is fixed, but once it is sorted, there are hopes that food can be served at the pub like it was under previous operators. Once the issues are rectified, Shelly, from Shelton Lock, hopes that older residents will enjoy coming to the pub to socialise and ensure they get talking to other people, rather than be lonely at home.

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She said: “We want to get everything on for them, through the week. We’re trying to find out what people want to see here. In this area in particular, what I’m finding is that it’s more the older generation who come in. It’s important to get them out and get them talking while seeing friends, so they’re not so lonely in their own homes.”

“Derby is my hometown. I have a house here, I know people here, and we should be able to build this place back up. It’s just taking us a bit of time to build it because there has been so much trouble in the past. It’s been closed for such a long time, it’s just difficult to get people back.”

The Robin shows live sport in the bar area. Pictured is the pool table.
The Robin shows live sport in the bar area

The 50-year-old has been a landlady for 22 years, which has taken her all over the country, from London to Bradford, Sheffield to Barnsley. But some may know her as the former landlady of the Castle & Falcon pub, in East Street, which she left two years ago.

Speaking on the potential closure of her former business as a result of proposed redevelopment of the Eagle Market, she said: “It was a nice pub. I would be sad to see it go.”

The Robin has a light and spacious bar area and a function room, which is also used for discos on Friday and Saturday nights. Shelly has Sundays off, and the bar is looked after by her daughter, Sophie.

Live sport is shown in the bar, with a range of other events taking place throughout the week. There is a free pool table on Mondays, a free jukebox on Tuesdays, a quiz on Wednesdays, cards on Thursdays and then the DJ and karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights respectively.

Shelly hopes to welcome back people from across Mickleover and beyond
Shelly hopes to welcome back people from across Mickleover and beyond

Shelly only saw the pub once before agreeing to take it on, and that was on a FaceTime call. But now the issues have been rectified, she is looking forward to the future.

She said: “The gas was the main issue, we have everything else sorted. Nothing worked, we had no fridges, and things needed repairing. The beer lines were a major issue, but that is all sorted now.

“All that is left is to get the heating sorted and get gas to the kitchen, which won’t be too much longer. I’m staying here permanently so, I’m looking forward to getting people back.”