The Ferry Boat Inn in Thorganby to close

Award-winning York pub to close

Jackie and Phil, pictured outside the pub in 2010

Jackie and Phil behind the bar

Olive Rogers, pictured here in 2008, has held the licence since 1948

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , News editor

AN award-winning village pub that has been run by the same family for 80 years is to close.

The Ferry Boat Inn in Thorganby, south of York, has become renowned in recent years for its selection of real ales, its riverside garden, and for Olive Rogers, who has been licensee since 1948.

The pub is run day-to-day by Olive’s daughter and son-in-law, Jackie and Phil Williamson, but Phil has been battling Parkinson’s disease for two years, which has made running the pub increasingly difficult. Because the pub is integrated into the couple’s house, they say they have no choice but to close.

In a notice to customers, displayed in the pub yesterday, Phil and Jackie wrote: “We understand what the Ferry Boat Inn means to many of you and because of that it has taken a long time to arrive at this decision.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us since our real ale venture started in 1997. We have many fond memories of the last 17 years.”

They said the decision had been taken with “deep regret and much sadness”.

Phil and Jackie, who are both in their early 60s, will close the pub at midnight on September 27, and although they have not planned a formal party, they realise many former customers will want to say farewell.

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The building dates back to the 1700s and was originally the ferryman’s house. The pub has been in Jackie’s family since March 1934, when her great, great uncle John Rouse took it over. It then passed to her grandfather William Brown Bolton, then her mother Olive Rogers.

Phil, a former engineer, and Jackie, a former teacher in secondary schools around York, took over in 1997, but Olive remained as licensee and is among the longest-serving landladies in the country.

Phil is a devoted real ale fan and refocused the pub, and it was named Yorkshire pub of the year by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) in 2010, and York pub of the year in 2010 and 2013. It also won the award for best outdoor area in The Press Pub Awards in 2010, honouring its beer garden that slopes down to the River Derwent.

Phil told The Press yesterday: “It has amazed me how well it has done really. I’m a real ale fan and had wanted to keep it going as a pub but to win the awards was incredible.

“We saw the York one as the pinnacle, given some of the brilliant pubs York has, but then to win the Yorkshire award was beyond my wildest dreams.

“A place like this is just so unusual. It’s like pubs used to be, part of people’s homes.”

Jackie said the pub reminded customers of a simpler time, with its lack of music, machines or televisions – and until recently a lack of mobile-hone signal.

She said some of their best memories would be of the beer festival they held for the Royal wedding in 2011 and the celebratory party when they won the Yorkshire Camra award.

______________________

Matt Grant, membership secretary of the York branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, fell in love with The Ferry Boat  – and even got engaged there.

York Press: Matt Grant, chairman of York Camra, enjoys a beer at the York Beer Festival with Phil and Jackie Williamson, who own and run the Ferry Boat Inn at Thorganby which this week won the Yorkshire CamraPub of the Year Award

Matt, pictured here with Phil and Jackie at the 2010 York Camra Beer and Cider Festival, said: “It may be a bit of a cliché, but The Ferry Boat Inn really is a pub with a reputation that precedes it.

“I had heard a lot about it before my first visit back in 2007 and was not disappointed.

“It has an idyllic setting, a great beer range and most importantly you are made to feel very welcome, whoever you are, which sometimes isn’t the case in small, rural pubs.

“I liked it so much that my wife and I even got engaged in the beer garden in 2011!

“Phil and Jackie were two of a small number of publicans who were pioneers of real ale in the York area in the late nineties. They are passionate about beer and great supporters of local breweries and other pubs in the York area.

“I had the pleasure of presenting two York Camra Pub of the Year awards to the pub and few people have been so genuinely delighted to have received the award.

“It is a special place and home to a lovely family that I, and many others, will miss visiting.”

Comments (12)

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8:06am Thu 4 Sep 14

Do-me-a-favour says...

We've been really lucky to have such a great CAMRA pub on our doorstep for so many years.
Great ale & company in a beautiful setting.
Wishing Phil & Jackie all the best in their retirement.
X
We've been really lucky to have such a great CAMRA pub on our doorstep for so many years. Great ale & company in a beautiful setting. Wishing Phil & Jackie all the best in their retirement. X Do-me-a-favour
  • Score: 28

9:52am Thu 4 Sep 14

Old_Man says...

While I wish Phil and Jackie all the best, from a purely personal selfish point of view I'm gutted. Summer evening cycle rides will never be the same.
While I wish Phil and Jackie all the best, from a purely personal selfish point of view I'm gutted. Summer evening cycle rides will never be the same. Old_Man
  • Score: 20

10:26am Thu 4 Sep 14

Yorkie Girl says...

such a shame. tis a cracking put with lovely people working there.
i too am gutted but wish them all the best :-)
such a shame. tis a cracking put with lovely people working there. i too am gutted but wish them all the best :-) Yorkie Girl
  • Score: 13

10:53am Thu 4 Sep 14

BaldyBob says...

Very sad news indeed. Best wishes to Phil & Jackie for the future from an old tennis partner :-)
Very sad news indeed. Best wishes to Phil & Jackie for the future from an old tennis partner :-) BaldyBob
  • Score: 9

1:43pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Wild Swan says...

Really, really sorry to see this wonderful pub close, but would like to wish Olive, Jackie and Phil all the best for the future.
Really, really sorry to see this wonderful pub close, but would like to wish Olive, Jackie and Phil all the best for the future. Wild Swan
  • Score: 8

3:15pm Thu 4 Sep 14

rking1977 says...

Undoubtedly one of the best rural pubs in North Yorkshire.

I'll miss going to this beautiful spot on the banks of the river but I'm grateful for the visits I've had there and wish Jackie and Phil all the very best for the future.
Undoubtedly one of the best rural pubs in North Yorkshire. I'll miss going to this beautiful spot on the banks of the river but I'm grateful for the visits I've had there and wish Jackie and Phil all the very best for the future. rking1977
  • Score: 5

4:01pm Thu 4 Sep 14

bravo whisky says...

Such a shame this great pub with great people running it and great ham&cheese sandwiches, and of course the great beers Phil and Jackie keep is about to close, a more peaceful beer garden would be hard to find. Best wishes to Phil, Jackie and Olive.
Such a shame this great pub with great people running it and great ham&cheese sandwiches, and of course the great beers Phil and Jackie keep is about to close, a more peaceful beer garden would be hard to find. Best wishes to Phil, Jackie and Olive. bravo whisky
  • Score: 5

9:33am Fri 5 Sep 14

Mister Matosis says...

Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it?
Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it? Mister Matosis
  • Score: 5

10:32am Fri 5 Sep 14

Grumpy Old Man says...

A great rural pub - but just how long has Thorganby been in York? (Headline). Either send a map down to South Wales or get some local sub-editors for a local paper.
A great rural pub - but just how long has Thorganby been in York? (Headline). Either send a map down to South Wales or get some local sub-editors for a local paper. Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -3

12:59am Sat 6 Sep 14

ArturasJanusas says...

What a massive shame! As a new resident of Thorganby I was intending to make The Ferry Boat Inn my second home.

I'm glad I got to meet and chat to Olive, sample a few of their tasty ales and bask in one of the best beer gardens I've ever had the fortune to visit.

If it does re-open in the future, I hope it stays exactly the same.

Wish you all a happy future.

ps. Where will Robert Redford go now?!
What a massive shame! As a new resident of Thorganby I was intending to make The Ferry Boat Inn my second home. I'm glad I got to meet and chat to Olive, sample a few of their tasty ales and bask in one of the best beer gardens I've ever had the fortune to visit. If it does re-open in the future, I hope it stays exactly the same. Wish you all a happy future. ps. Where will Robert Redford go now?! ArturasJanusas
  • Score: 0

11:42am Mon 8 Sep 14

NickPheas says...

Mister Matosis wrote:
Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it?
The pub is a part of their home and so can't be easily handed on. Which is terribly sad for us, but understandable.

Good luck in your retirement. I shall try and make it down one last time.
[quote][p][bold]Mister Matosis[/bold] wrote: Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it?[/p][/quote]The pub is a part of their home and so can't be easily handed on. Which is terribly sad for us, but understandable. Good luck in your retirement. I shall try and make it down one last time. NickPheas
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 19 Sep 14

Mister Matosis says...

NickPheas wrote:
Mister Matosis wrote:
Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it?
The pub is a part of their home and so can't be easily handed on. Which is terribly sad for us, but understandable.

Good luck in your retirement. I shall try and make it down one last time.
Terribly sad is an understatement. I didn't realise this about the pub being part of their home.

Happy retirement indeed.
[quote][p][bold]NickPheas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mister Matosis[/bold] wrote: Is no one going to take on the running of the pub? Is it just going to close and that's it?[/p][/quote]The pub is a part of their home and so can't be easily handed on. Which is terribly sad for us, but understandable. Good luck in your retirement. I shall try and make it down one last time.[/p][/quote]Terribly sad is an understatement. I didn't realise this about the pub being part of their home. Happy retirement indeed. Mister Matosis
  • Score: 0

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