The life of a pub landlord can be a colourful one. But Jed Ford’s time in the booze business is the stuff of TV drama.
The iconic Millstone owner has spent decades pulling pints, shifting barrels and balancing tills across Mancunian watering holes – and in a brand new interview the local landlord has shared some astonishing stories that sound like they’ve been lifted from the pages of an airport paperback.
Speaking to the Joe Marler Show – a podcast hosted by the eponymous England rugby international and sports journalist Tom Fordyce (co-host of That Peter Crouch Podcast) – Ford looks back on his time as a landlord, revealing how his pubs have been robbed, bombed and even haunted over the years.
Ford talks about how he was hauled out of bed at knifepoint during an armed robbery on his country pub in Stalybridge, and also discusses the time his city centre boozer was battered by the Manchester bomb.
The landlord also claims to have owned two pubs where patrons would openly chat to ghosts – The Church Inn in Prestwich and The Black Lion in Salford.
During the episode, Ford tells the hosts: “I had a pub – a very nice pub in the country – and I got armed robbed.
“They knew exactly what they were doing. They stormed into the bedroom. Dragged me out of the bed. They had knives, they had a machete. And they wanted all the cash.
“They picked bricks up, got ladders up to the first floor, smashed the window, and come straight in. They got the cash, of course. But fortunately they never touched me.”
He calls the 1996 bomb his other “biggest scare”, before talking about how he shared pints with police officers after being caught defying evacuation and sneaking into his pub to retrieve a worker’s handbag she’d left behind.
Ford also says patrons would visit his Salford pub “on a regular basis to talk to dead people.”
“I promise you, there’d be a dozen people talking to [ghosts],” the landlord says.
“I never saw one. But I was mesmerised just listening to all the stories!”