A town pub near Banbury will be changing hands next week as the existing owners leave after running the pub since 2019. 

Gary Ward has been at the helm at The Red Lion pub in Deddington for more than five years with his partner, Julie, but they are now moving on to enjoy the next chapter of their lives.

Today (Friday, June 21) is their last day serving drinks, served at a discounted price. 

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The pub will reopen next Tuesday (June 25) with Chris Gates taking over, who runs the Barley Mow in Upper Heyford.

The Red Lion in Deddington The Red Lion in Deddington (Image: Ian Taylor Photography) Mr Ward said: "We’ve had a good five years here. I know a lot of pubs have struggled over the pandemic and subsequently with the cost of living crisis, but this has been a successful pub.

“We’ve had great support in Deddington from the local people – they’ve made this pub.

“It’s been full-on business and financially very good, but also it takes a lot of effort to do that, and we’re both in our 60s now, so we need time for ourselves."

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The pair have plans to "semi-retire" and have plans to go on holiday, spend time with their family, friends and grandchildren, and will soon be renovating a house in Herefordshire.

The Red Lion in Deddington The Red Lion in Deddington (Image: Ian Taylor Photography) The pair announced their departure in a public statement, saying: "First and foremost, we would like to say a massive thank you to our customers for your fabulous support, friendship and humour over these past five plus years.

"We are proud, along with your support we made The Red a success, but we now look forward to taking time off to spend with family and friends, a bit of travelling and we have a little matter of a renovation which will become our home in the beautiful county of Herefordshire."

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