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Another 'island fantasy' job is open


Every now and then we've run stories of small islands that need caretakers and of the many people who apply for them. But this one is different: an island looking for a king (or queen) who knows how to run a pub.

Piel Island is one of the Furness Islands just barely off the coast of Cumbria; at low tide it can be walked to. It has a 14th century smugglers' castle managed by English Heritage and a pub, the Ship Inn, owned by the Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council.

And it has a tradition (the Council says it is "a ceremony of uncertain origin") in which the landlord of the pub is crowned king of the island while sitting in an ancient chair, wearing an ancient helmet and holding and ancient sword, while beer is poured over his head. Despite the pronouns, the job is also open to women.

The job is currently vacant, though more than 200 have applied since it was posted in December. In addition to the pub and the hoopla, the job includes maintenance of camping sites and lavatories and, in the words of the Council's Head of Visitor Economy, “not the dream people might think it is.”

Anxious for more details about Piel and its history? The Council has posted a full description

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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