A LONG-SERVING hotel boss has bid farewell to the hotel he has run for 23 years.

Thomas Twigge has officially stepped back from running The Clarkes Hotel in Rampside. The 61-year-old has been running the pub for 23 years, and bought out his partner in 2008 just before the financial crisis hit.

Kirsty Ridge, managing director of Lakeland Inns, will be taking over the running of the hotel.

In an emotional statement shared online, Mr Twigge said: “We wish to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, our guests and locals alike, for the support you have shown us over the past 23 years. It has been an absolute pleasure being there for you all, watching your children growing up working with us, going to university and then going on to very successful careers.

“We have been there for birthdays, christenings and on too many occasions for some wonderful people remembrance teas.

“We wish Kirsty and her team at the Clarkes much success in the future. We are sure they will make a good go of it, and they will receive some great support from the amazing locals and regular visitors that come to the Clarkes.

“Take care all, have a wonderful life – and do keep in touch.”