THE landlady of a much-loved pub has paid tribute to her friends and regulars after she announced she would be retiring. 

Elizabeth Jackson, landlady of the Plough in Stratton, said she made the decision to shut the pub yesterday, Wednesday, with immediate effect to the shock and surprise of customers on social media. 

Elizabeth, 85, has run the pub since 2008 and said she would ‘miss’ all of her loyal customers.

She said: “I’ve been in hospital recently because I wasn’t feeling well. 

“I’m 85 now and I think I’ve had a good innings. 

“I’m just so sorry I’ve had to pack it all up. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Elizabeth JacksonElizabeth Jackson (Image: Newsquest)

“I will miss all my customers, especially the locals.

“A lot of lovely locals and older ladies have been coming to my coffee mornings for years. 

Elizabeth has been in the pub industry since she was 22 years old - opening her first pub in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1970. 

Before the Plough Inn, she previously used to run the Crown Inn in Cerney Wick in 1990 before closing after husband’s dementia diagnosis. 

The Plough Inn is owned by Wiltshire family brewery, Arkell’s, and they are currently looking for a new operator.   

George Arkell, managing director of Arkell’s Brewery said that Elizabeth has been a 'fantastic' landlady. 

He said: “We are all hugely sad to hear that Liz has fallen ill and taken the decision to leave the Plough Inn. 

"She has been a fantastic landlady and her and her family have run the pub brilliantly for the last 14 years. 

"We are hoping to find a new tenant to take over the reins from Liz as soon as possible”.

The Standard previously wrote about how Elizabeth kept the The Plough open during severe snow in January 2010 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Plough Inn in StrattonPlough Inn in Stratton (Image: Newsquest)

Her son Andrew Crump said his mother was ‘heartbroken’ to be closing. 

He said: “We’ve closed the pub because of my mum’s ill health. 

“She’s heartbroken, when the agent from Arkell's came in yesterday they were both in tears. 

“Arkell's has been so lovely to us. 

“But the agent said it isn’t fair for my mum to keep on working.

“But they said they’re not kicking her out and she can stay at the pub until she finds somewhere else to live. 

“It doesn’t mean the Plough Inn won’t open again. 

“It’s just closed at the moment because of the current situation. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Interior of Plough Inn in StrattonInterior of Plough Inn in Stratton (Image: Newsquest)

Customers have been reacting with shock and disappointment to the closure paying tribute to Elizabeth on Facebook. 

One commenter said: “Liz was one of the good people and I hope she has a good retirement.

“Such a shame, great Sunday lunches and the family were very kind to elderly local people. I wish them well for the future

“Gutted to hear this but understand. Liz is the best, kindest, lovely person you ever wish to meet. Spent many happy evenings there. Wishing Liz a speedy recovery.”

Andrew wrote on Facebook: “On behalf of my mum thank you for all your kind words.

“It was a very hard discussion to make.

“To all the customers that became friends, thank you all for your support. 

“We will miss you all.”

Elizabeth intends to stay in Cirencester during her retirement and has plans to catch up with old friends she made while working at the pub.