Simon and Sharon Colgan
Simon and Sharon Colgan

Running a multi-pub business and having to stay at home, Sharon Colgan talks to us

As part of a series of features, we talk to Simon and Sharon Colgan who own a number of pubs including The Blues Bar, Worlds End and The Empress.

How has your typical day changed since having to isolate ?

We are multi-pub business owners and usually very busy. My job is to look after all the staff at each of the 6 locations, cash up daily, look after wages, pubs utilities and accounts. I over see everything and am a bit of a stickler for detail.

I do the cashing up before 7am then most days I would travel to my daughters house to take care of my twin grandchildren, aged 7.

Ash is a community nurse and her husband a BT engineer rather than child care costs I’m usually available I do the before and some after school runs. After morning school run I go do an hour a day in the gym. I have back issues don’t much like the gym, but seems essential, keeps my back muscles strong and pain at bay.

Then I would go see the daily staff return to Knaresborough around lunch. Check all OK. Spend an hour or so in office sometimes get shouted to help down stairs over lunch . Worlds end is unpredictable can hit with a group of walkers here and there Doesn’t take long before it’s 2.45pm time for afternoon school pick up.

We tend to head to Blues for our teatime tipple and catch up with friends.

Now even though still on it with bills and wages, I sleep little. I don’t sleep great anyway, I’m anxious as I can imagine we all are.

I often get cup of tea sit on my lovely roof garden and take in the silence, which is very rare for Waterside.

I cook a lot now, watch TV, read and walk waterside – that’s my day now.

And the odd bottle of wine or 3 haha!

What have you found difficult ?

I can’t tell you what we are loosing it’s a bit scary, 6 successful bars all were doing well says it all.

I’m trying to remain positive knowing the bigger picture in all this I see us as fortunate big empty pub to rattle around in big beer garden to enjoy privately which we never had that before.

If this goes on longer than 6 weeks we will begin to struggle, but we are relatively debt free. So along with a few grants and a low interest loan we will get by. Our priority is paying the staff and making sure they are OK.

I miss everyone I usually work with. We usually talk with staff daily about the weeks activities functions, think about menus etc none of that now.

So now I have a morning cuppa, no tills, no school run, and I miss my family that I haven’t seen in weeks other than using Zoom.

I start to feel sad I’m sure everyone is feeling the same way.  All the heart ache out there and utter worry for my family and friends I think it’s important to make your bed, dress put on makeup etc clean and think about what I’m going to cook for the day.

This is very unusual for me, I don’t cook, even though I can I am surrounded by chefs, and we usually eat out a fair bit.

What have you missed ?

We miss our family and friends very much. We live close but can’t see one another.

We miss the pubs the social gatherings banter, that we all take for granted. Live music is our love and I know everyone is doing great with live shows on line,  it’s just not the same.

Has there been any benefits ? 

For me watching all the family’s be together and the kids having this time with their mums and dads – they probably never get this full attention again.

Flowers all seem so beautiful and the peace of Waterside is wonderful, plus how friendly people are with everyone saying hello to one another. It’s like you are saying I know it’s hard, but we are all in this together

Do you have any tips for people isolating ?

Make your bed!

Even when you feel low make that effort to get dressed and look nice.

There is so much anxiety within us, so exercise to get your blood pumping to push out that anxiety, even if it’s up and down steps at home.

Talk to family and friends every day and don’t binge the news.

Do the things you didn’t have time to do, smell the roses, although hard for me though as I possibly had the virus haven’t been able to smell since.

Give your self a break!

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