Last orders for Tony and Sandra after 38 years at the bar

Tony Marvin, Ivana Figala, Sandra Marvin & Alistair Murray
Tony Marvin, Ivana Figala, Sandra Marvin & Alistair Murray

Two of the town’s best known ‘mine hosts’ have pulled their last pints before heading into retirement.

Tony Marvin and his wife Sandra have welcomed countless thousands into the Penny Farthing.

They have been familiar faces at the High Street landmark for the past 38 years and are renowned for creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Now they are signing off after a lifetime of service.

“It’s a great pub,” said Tony. “It’s always full of nice people, nice customers.”

The couple relocated from England to become the face of the Penny.

Replying to an advert to run the pub in 1976, Tony and Sandra moved from their home in Leicester to take over the pumps.

“I am from Glenrothes originally,” Sandra said. “We just saw the advert and went for it.

“The rest is history,” Tony added.

The bar was owned by Joe Malone, and his associations with the theatre brought many interesting characters through the door - the pub is still decorated with pictures of the stars from the 1970s onwards, with many becoming regular visitors when in town.

“They have added some great stories to our time at the Penny Farthing,” said Tony. “Some remained friends, such as Jim Davidson - he still pops in when he is in the area and livens the place up.”

The stars were all invited down after appearing at the Adam Smith Theatre.

“They would all be quite happy to mingle with the customers. We’ve had the Nolans, Rula Lenska, The Krankies, Bob Monkhouse, and Lionel Blair,” Sandra explained.

A fond memory was the day Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket popped in.

Sandra explained: “Jimmy was dressed for his show. My son Gary came through the door and was just so excited.”

After many years of late nights, both Sandra and Tony admitted that one of the great allures of retirement would be going to bed on the same day that they woke up.

“Although we’re going to miss all the customers and having conversations with lots of different people.”

Tony, who had hoped to get to 40 years service, admits he is now looking forward to relaxing, having a Christmas Day off and catching up on all the things he has not been able to do while working.

“I’m starting by unpacking all the boxes for our new home!”

Daughter Lissa, who grew up above the pub said: “They have both been the face of the pub, welcoming strangers like friends and customers like family.

“It has been heartwarming to see the messages of support for mum and dad.

‘‘People have been saying it is the end of an era. They have put so much into the pub, but now is the right time for them to move on.’’