Popular village pub landlady Patsy Lowe is bidding farewell to her customers.

Mrs Lowe has been tenant of the New Inn at Coate for three and a half years but is leaving next month as she will be undergoing an operation and will need several months to recover.

She said she had enjoyed her time at the New Inn, which was her first job as a pub landlady.

Before pulling pints, the 48-year-old worked in accounts and was a credit control manager at Latchways and latterly Smallbone in Devizes.

She and her husband, Roy, moved from Swindon to Coate six years ago to save her commuting to Devizes.

She wasn’t a customer at the New Inn because she didn’t drink, but when the New Inn became available on a tenancy from Wadworth Mrs Lowe decided a change of career appealed to her.

She said: “I wanted to be my own boss, I had gone past just sitting in an office.”

The pub is at the heart of the community and during Mrs Lowe’s time in charge, there have been three new darts teams and a new quiz team, while Devizes Probus and a Wiltshire business club meet there regularly.

A bonfire night and fireworks display have grown and the pub holds regular band nights and coffee mornings for charity.

Mrs Lowe, in conjunction with villagers, also organised events for the community – an annual fete held in the pub’s field and special events to mark the Royal Wedding last year and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

Her husband, who runs his own engineering company, helps out at the pub.

Mrs Lowe said: “It’s introduced me to a different life. I have learned you don’t have to drink to go to a pub, it’s a place to socialise.

“I know most of the village and have met some lovely people. I have made a lot of friends I wouldn’t have done because I wasn’t a drinker. I have loved it at the New Inn. Locals say we have brought the pub back to life.”

Mrs Lowe and her husband have moved out of their accommodation in the pub and are renting a house in nearby Horton, but plan to be customers and will continue to run the darts teams.

Mrs Lowe said giving up her job would enable her to spend more time with her three daughters and three grandchildren.

The new landlord is Stuart Johnson, from Calne, who will take over next month.