A landlord who has run pubs in Cranham for years has bid an emotional farewell to his "unbelievable" customers who he said are like family.

Glenn Egan, 66, who has been involved in the industry for around 50 years, is stepping down after 15 years' management of Cranham pubs with his wife Denise, most recently The Golden Crane in Avon Road.

He said he is handing the reins over today (November 27) and called the response from customers "unbelievable."

Problems with his knees, having already had two operations, has informed Glenn's decision to take a step back.

"The people that have been coming in for years are more like friends and family than customers," Glenn said. "Everyone uses the pub as a hub of the community - it's the best area I've ever been in."

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Romford Recorder: Glenn and Denise have been at the Golden Crane for four and a half yearsGlenn and Denise have been at the Golden Crane for four and a half years (Image: Google)

The Golden Crane landlord has run the pub with wife Denise, 64, since 2019 - around four-and-a-half years ago.

They were previously at the Masons Arms in St Mary's Lane before it was demolished in 2009, then moved to Front Lane's The Plough, running it for eight-and-a-half years.

But Glenn said it has not always been easy and the Golden Crane was nearly forced to shut.

When asked about the most difficult moment in his time there, Glenn said: "Covid, without a shadow of a doubt. 

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"Financially it ruined so many businesses, especially in this trade - we were lucky because we had a big marquee tent we could use to keep people separated."

Glenn said that if Covid restrictions had continued much longer, the Golden Crane would have been gone for good.

"We survived with a couple of months left," he said. "If it had gone on for another two months we'd have been finished."

Glenn added that he has worked hard to ensure the Golden Crane has a good atmosphere.

He believed the popularity of his pub was down to the mix of people that came, and continue to come, in through the years.

This includes a large group of widows called The Jolly Dollies, Glenn said.

"They're absolutely fantastic and support the pub properly," he added.

These sentiments were shared by customers, who left messages on the pub's Facebook page.

"Thank you for all the memories," one said. "You made it an amazing family pub."

Another added: "You guys are gonna be well and truly missed."

For Glenn it is not the absolute end since he will be staying as licensee until just after Christmas.

But owing to his knee problems, Glenn said he will be happy to take his position at the other side of the bar.

"There's times when you can't run around a pub. I can just sit on a stool somewhere," he added with a chuckle.