ONE of Poole’s oldest pubs has closed in what has been described as a “complete shock”.

Final pints were poured at The Cockleshell in Lagland Street on Sunday, March 31.

It follows the retirement of owner Josie Way, who has run the pub with her family for 16 years.

Josie’s daughter, Becky McCheyne, said the Cockleshell’s regulars had become like a second family during that time.

She said: “The customers have been my mum’s biggest supporters.

“All the local residents, and people that have come and gone over the years, they’ve given the pub character.

“They were in complete and utter shock when they found out [about the closure], but they knew it was time for my mum to take retirement.”

Josie took over the pub with partner James Tayler in 2008, and the pair ran it together until James passed away two and a half years ago.

Bournemouth Echo: Josie WayJosie Way (Image: Becky McCheyne)

Their daughter also worked there, seeing it become the venue for all family gatherings, birthdays, weddings and funerals.

A closing party was held at The Cockleshell on Sunday, and was described as “a great day and evening”.

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On what the future holds for the pub building, Becky said: “We don’t know whether it is going to be a pub again or not - there are so many different rumours.

“As far as we’re aware that is it, and it will never be called The Cockleshell again.”

Josie has issued a thanks to the loyal customers who have supported the pub over the years, and to Geoff Thompson who gave her the opportunity of taking it on.

She wrote in a social media post: “I am writing to notify everyone of my upcoming retirement.

"It’s a decision I haven’t made easily but it’s to enjoy my life and spend quality time with family and friends.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to every customer that has supported me over the years and a special thanks to all my staff past and present that have made this possible."