When the new owners of The Bitter End in Cockermouth took over just days before lockdown was announced, they began to think their latest venture was aptly-named.

Mark Cockbain and Jackie Williams, who have run a popular village pub which is owned by Martsons for more than 18 years, had always wanted to buy their own.

"We put an offer in for The Bitter End and within a week it was accepted," said Mark.

"We bought the pub and opened on March 2, on the 20th we had to close."

The couple had gone from preparing to run two busy pubs with a total of 31 staff, to locked doors and empty bar stools.

The plan had been to move between their existing business, The Wheatsheaf in Lorton, and The Bitter End with the support of Mark's daughter, Kayleigh, and her partner Sean Jackson.

But all that was put on hold for months as staff were furloughed.

Now the two pubs are up and running again and Mark and Jackie are enjoying their new - albeit busy - roles.

"It's been very busy since we reopened," said Mark. "It's great to have our own place. We'd always wanted to do that."

Various safety measures are in place and both pubs have had to reduce the number of tables. "We had to cancel up to 50 meals this week once changes were announced," said Mark.

But they are pleased to be welcoming customers once more.