The Wheatsheaf Hotel at Swineshead had a familiar face in the bar over Christmas – when former landlord John Hewitt checked in on his son.
John, 73, and his late wife Rita ran the Market Place pub between 1981 and 1986 before leaving for a new life in Cyprus.
Their son Dave helped them move in 31 years ago and is now the man pulling the pints himself – taking over in May and already winning an award for his real ale.
Dave, who switched from his job as a lorry driver to take over at the Wheatsheaf, said: “We went upstairs and went around the rooms.
“He (John) said to me ‘can you feel your mum? You can feel her presence. There’s just that feeling of her being around.”
The locals nicknamed his dad and mum ‘Den and Angie’ after the Eastenders duo.
“She was a fiery woman, my mum,” said Dave. “She was the boss.”
John spent Christmas 2011 with Dave home in Swineshead but there was no plan at that stage for Dave to take over The Wheatsheaf.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would do this,” he said.
Helping Dave are son Ross, 22, and daughter Carlie, 23. Dave and his teacher wife, Tracey, also have a daughter, Kirsty, who is 19.