British island begins search for new ‘king’ — Analysis
An English council has begun looking for a manager to run the historic and unique inn, which is located on the small island of Piel. The one in the job is traditionally crowned the ‘King of Piel.’
Piel Island, which covers an area of approximately 50 acres (20 Hectares), is located off the coast Cumbria at Barrow-in-Furness. But it’s not all about the size as the small piece of land boasts a medieval castle – built in the 14th century to counter Scottish raiders – and the famous Ship Inn, which itself has a history of over 300 years.
This pub offers “fine traditional ales from local breweries, beers, wines and spirits to quench the thirsty traveler”Since July, when it was reopened following the removal of all Covid-19 restrictions, the Piel Island Pub Company had operated the pub.
But this was only a temporary arrangement, and last week Barrow Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee announced that it’s looking to recruit a proper landlord to oversee the Ship Inn and the whole island for the next 10 years.
Before April, when tourist season kicks off, and ferry services begin to circulate between the islands and the mainland, the vacant position must be filled.
“It’s important the right people are installed, people with sound local knowledge, a feel for the island and its history,”Frank Cassidy was the vice-chair of the committee and spoke about potential applicants.
The one to meet all those criteria is going to be crowned the ‘King of Piel’ during a centuries-old special ceremony. Traditionally, the ‘monarch’ sits on an ancient chair, sporting a helmet and holding a sword in his hand, while beer is being poured over his head.
Chris Jones, however, is the head of climate change and program management at the council. “there are significant constraints to living and working on Piel Island and people need to think about that.”Price of the title is dependent on weather and work hours.