Time called for popular pair at Banbury’s oldest pub


Ant Murray and Jem Morey pull their last pints at The Reindeer

Two popular characters from Banbury’s oldest public house have pulled their last pints in town.   Ant Murray and Jem Morey stepped down from running Ye Olde Reine Deer Inn in Parsons Street on Saturday night.

Jem and Ant went into business in Banbury ten years ago, initially running the Wine Vaults.   They took on the Reindeer in 2013 and ran both venues until 2016 when they left the Wine Vaults.

Jem told Banbury FM the decision to move on from The Reindeer came after the pair had their best year.  He said, “We got to the point we were at a loss as to how we could take it to the next step without investing too much money in these really trying times.   When you reach a plateau its quite a signifier to us to leave on a high rather than a low”.

Jem said the current situation has led to a very testing time for businesses but believes people will get through it.   He said, “It’s an opportunity for people to have an entrepreneurial approach to it and try different things”.

From the last eight years Jem said that creating Deerjam was one of his highlights.   The fund raising music festival has raised £5000 for local charities over the past few years.

Another highlight was when Ant and Jem reached the semi finals in the “licensee of the year awards”, placing them in the top twelve across the whole country.

The current situation with COVID-19 meant a leaving party wasn’t possible on Saturday night, but they hope a get together can be arranged in the future.

The business partners will now concentrate on running The Castle in Oxford and The Red Lion in Overton, near Basingstoke.

They leave town with nothing but good comments about Banbury.   Jem said, “I’ve got so many positive things to say of Banbury.   It has a great community spirit.   A lot of people speak down about Banbury but I’ve got nothing but good things to say of it”.

You can listen to our interview with Jem Morey here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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