Camborne publicans had enough after months of violence and drug problems

Baby Robin was born in the Waggoners Arms pub on Tuesday, January 3
-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)


A couple who took the helm of a pub by chance when they wound up living above it amid the housing crisis are bidding farewell to the life they've made over the past couple of years - that has not been without its challenges.

Andy and Bobbie Lord, whose youngest child Robin was even born next to the pool table in 2023, announced the news that their "mad journey" was coming to an end last month. That journey started when the expectant couple and their three children were struggling to find a place to rent back in 2022.

With little other choice, the soon-to-be family of six accepted an offer to move into the flat above The Waggoner's Arms in Camborne. They soon started working shifts behind the bar and before long took over running the place from the previous owners, but have faced their ups and downs since - including assaults and drug problems plaguing the pub.

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"I didn't think much of it at the time. I never realised it would lead to us running the pub at that point," they said of moving in back then. "I was hoping we could find more suitable family accommodation away from the pub and accepted that once Bobbie had given birth and when the landlord, who'd handed in her notice at that point, left, then we would leave too and face emergency housing if we had to.

"Our baby boy Robin was born in a birthing pool in the pub in January 2023 which will we will never forget and is the best thing about our time here. There started to be a lot of talk about us taking on the pub."

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The Waggoner's Arms in Camborne
The publicans behind Waggoner's Arms for the past two years are packing up and moving on -Credit:Google Maps

Not setting out for taking over to be the plan, they said: "We decided to give it a go and we have had some wonderful times. We've learned as we've gone along, made lots of mistakes, got a few things right and genuinely gave it our best considering it was all circumstantial to keep our home."

In recent months, however, they secured suitable alternative accommodation elsewhere and have been wanting to leave "the stressful parts" of running a pub behind. But they say this hasn't been easy because of all the joys that have come along with it. But problems with drugs, violence and the pub's reputation have not made running the place easy in recent times.

"It was really tough and stressful in the first few months, seeing, hearing and dealing with behaviour that I wasn't fully aware was fuelled by illegal drugs," a message posted to the pub's Facebook page said they "learned a lot in that time. I soon decided it had to change drastically or we would have to walk away.

"Then came the night that I was attacked by a regular who had already smashed up my pool cue and went on to break the window. We'd had enough at that point and either had to try and change things or leave.

"We joined Pub Watch, confronted antisocial behaviour a lot more, banned a lot of people and tried our best to keep trouble at bay and make the pub a warm, friendly and safe place to visit and I believe we have achieved this to a really good extent." More on how they were tackling this in a previous story, here.

They said the final straw, however, was an incident a couple of months ago that affected customers and staff and almost led to them walking away there and then. "We held on but since that incident, it's been very quiet in the pub.

"Our overheads are high and for the first time, despite letting go of staff we could no longer afford to pay and doing all the opening hours ourselves, we simply haven't got the money to pay some of the big bills. I always said if and when that starts happening we would have no choice but to walk away."

They went on to say they wish all the customers the best as they move forward with the next chapter of their lives. A closing down party was held earlier this month.

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