A farewell party was held by an Aldershot pub landlady to mark her stepping down after six years at the helm.

Cally Brown, 35, chose not to renew her contract to run the Garden Gate pub in Church Lane East, owned by the Greene King brewery, and it expired on Monday March 31.

The brewery has confirmed the pub will now be put up for sale.

A party was thrown by the popular landlady on Saturday March 29, featuring a series of local bands and DJs playing inside the pub all day.

This followed a Friday night performance by Alton band Straubenzee.

Regulars piled in on both nights to present her with leaving gifts including her own registered hallmark, as she plans to try and build up her jewellery-making business when she moves to Folkstone in Kent.

Cally did open the pub on Sunday and Monday evenings to sell the last supplies of beer – to the delight of a group of students who happened upon the offer by chance.

On the leaving parties, she said: “It went amazingly. I had my best ever day.

“I was given a book signed by all my customers and a few other presents. It was really sweet.”

Despite the roaring trade during her final weekend behind the pumps, Miss Brown said she felt the time was right to leave the industry behind.

“It’s going to be really strange,” she said. “It’s the people I’m going to miss. They have been part of my life for the last six years so not to see them on a day-to-day basis will be odd.

“I’m not going to miss living above a pub, though. To have early nights will be nice, without the noise.”

Greene King have put a management company temporarily in charge of the pub, and it reopened on Wednesday.

Declared interest

A spokesman for the brewery thanked Miss Brown for her hard work and confirmed the Garden Gate will be sold as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the number of its tenanted or leased pubs and improve the quality of those remaining.

“We have taken the difficult decision to put the Garden Gate on the market and are also assessing the future of the Beehive, both of which remain open during this time of transition,” he said.

Either pub could yet be purchased by a buyer who wishes to retain them as pubs, although other similar scenarios have not led to such happy endings.

The Heroes of Luck pub, in North Lane, could become the latest casualty of a changing market after it was sold by Punch Taverns to a private individual earlier this year.

Landlord Brian Kauppila said he expected the pub would be sold, but intends to remain open until at least the end of May.

It is thought that The Co-operative has declared an interest in the site, however a spokesman for the food retailer refused to comment on the situation.