Calling Time After 100 Years – The Publican Finally Calling It A Day
This 104-year-old pub owner has finally closed her doors for the last time after a century in the same premises – not because she is too old but because it makes too little money and her own kids are all retired.
Ascension Ramon Gomez has reluctantly shut her pub in the village of Barcena de la Abadia in the remote El Bierzo region of north-western Spain’s Leon province.
The once thriving business has fallen victim to the village’s declining fortunes following the closure of the region’s coal mines.
Ascension, a mother of seven who is due to turn 105 in October, first entered the pub when she was just four years old when her parents took it over and ran it.
Local media believes she was the oldest pub owner in all of Spain – and possibly the world.
Ascension said: “When I was raising my own children there were 100 children in the village and now there are three.
“In this village once, years ago, there were seven pubs. Now there’s no school, no pubs, nothing.”
She said she felt sorry to be putting another nail in the village’s coffin but there was no point in keeping the pub open.
Apart from the local customers, none of her children wanted to take over the business – as they had already reached retirement age.
Ascension added: “I am sorry for leaving the pub, but I am more sorry for the people because they treated me well and respected me all my life.”
She became a widow at the age of 45 – nearly 60 years ago – and puts her longevity down to “working hard and having seven children”.
El Bierzo, which is isolated from nearby regions by the mountains which surround it, was once Spain’s largest coal mining area but the pits have all closed in recent decades.