Maryport's longest-serving publican is to retire this month.

Moree Weir has run the Sailor's Return - or the Bottom Tap as it is called locally - for 23 years.

When she took over the harbourside pub, she was also becoming responsible for a significant part of Maryport's maritime history.

The Sailor's Return was once a chandler's shop owned by the Walker family.

Two sons of the Walker family, Robert and Wilson, may almost have been forgotten in Maryport but in Japan, they are credited with being largely responsible for its shipbuilding industry.

The Walkers lived in Nagasaki when the rest of Japan was closed off to foreigners and taught the art of building ships.

In 2007 a Japanese documentary team visited Maryport and the Sailor's featured largely in a television film about their work.

The pub's display of model whips and figureheads is a nod to this history.

Moree does not just live in the past, however.

When a fish and chip shop opened near the pub, she took fish and chips off her own menu for a year, to give the new business a chance.

She was also a loyal supporter of the Maryport Blues Festival, paying towards bands and providing accommodation for some.

The pub's location, with a harbour wall at its front door, meant that she did not always get what she should from the festival. People used to line up at the wall with supermarket beers and listen to her live music for free!

Like many, the pub has struggled first through the smoking ban, then cheap alcohol deals and, of course, the Covid lockdown.

Moree has weathered all the storms. In the last year she has lost her husband, a sister and a nephew. Now, at the age of 81, she has decided it is time to retire.

"I have no plans. I am going to just sit back and rest for a while," she said.

Moree is due to finish at the end of this month but has not been given a leaving date by her brewery.