Electrician’s joy at becoming pub landlord and ‘king’ of remote island

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The electrician beat more than 200 hopefuls from around the world to become landlord of the Ship Inn pub. But along with pulling pints and maintaining the stunning 26-acre islet, Aaron will also inherit the 170-year-old title of the King of Piel Island.

His coronation – expected in September – will see him sit on a throne made from a beer barrel and have ale poured over his head.

Then he will also have the power to “knight” those who have benefited the island.

Aaron, who spent his childhood visiting the holiday spot off the coast of Cumbria, admitted to feeling “incredibly nervous” when council officials told him he’d won the 10-year tender for the pub – despite having no hospitality experience.

But besides the challenges of living away from the mainland, he says he’s enjoyed a blissful time since he got the pub’s keys.

He said: “I was camping here when I was a kid and I’ve been a regular visitor for as long as I can remember. I never thought I’d be king of an island. I just thought, ‘I could do that, I’ll put in for it’.

And then I got it.

“In the mornings, I’ll sit out the front having a brew and it’s like your own little slice of heaven.

Aaron, from Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, added: “If I can put my own stamp then, fingers crossed, everything works out well, I can enjoy myself for the next 10 years.”

Piel Island has a 900-year-old ruined castle and eight privatelyowned cottages. Access is limited to a 15-minute ferry service, or by walking at low tide.

Aaron said: “Getting everything over here is hard work. We have periods where there are no ferries and instances where you won’t be able to get off. You’ve just got to be prepared.”

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