HALIFAX’S newest landlord is hoping he has as much success with pints of beer as he had with pints of milk.
Former milkman Sean Garvey beat 10,000 entrants to be voted Britain’s best milkman in 2004.
He has since successfully switched from delivering pints to pulling them and has now re-opened the Royal Oak, at the corner of New Road and Clare Road, Halifax.
It is now known as Dirty Dick’s Food and Ale Emporium and he is targeting the market for business lunches and real-ale drinkers.
The grade two listed pub has had its old timber and wood panelling cleaned to help create a traditional atmosphere.
The former old coaching house was replaced by the mock-Tudor style bulding in 1931, with beams salvaged from the warship HMS Newcastle, built in 1860.
Mr Garvey, 40, wanted to retain the ship’s link and settled on Dirty Dick’s, the nickname of Richard Lynn, captain of the Newcastle.
He and his partner, Kirsty Leach, fell in love with the building when they saw it in a photo.
“It looked beautiful and we’ve closed it for a month for repairs and cleaning,” he said.
This week The New Inn, Denholme, which the couple also run, won a Camra Pub of the Season award.
Mr Garvey said Dirty Dick’s would return to what pubs used to be, with no TV or entertainment.
“It is about going back to what people moved away from, which was a mistake,” he said. “We both really have a passion to right what was going wrong with pubs.”
Mr Garvey worked in construction before becoming a milkman, serving 700 customers in Calverley, near Leeds.
He was voted best milkman by the Dairy Industry Association for his public-spirited behaviour, which included doing odd jobs for his customers.
And in 2005 he was voted citizen of the month by police for reporting suspicious behaviour on his rounds, which led to arrests.