Oh, you sent me an email three weeks ago? Oh, you pinged me in Slack to no avail? Sorry, my bad—I was practicing to take over as the next caretaker of Piel Island, a rugged isle half a mile off England’s northwestern coast. England’s Barrow Borough Council posted the job opportunity last week, and it involves managing a centuries-old pub called The Ship Inn. Wearing thick woolens, pouring pints for old men, and gallivanting around a remote island community? Sign me up.
Of course, as with any employment opportunity, there are a few catches. Per The New York Times, Piel Island winters are wet and isolated, with limited travel opportunities. The island also only has two full-time residents, who have to call ahead and drive across the sands at low tide in order to visit the nearest supermarket. “We’re not talking about St. Lucia or the Hawaiian islands,” John Murphy, a 73-year-old resident of nearby Walney Island, told the Times. “We’re talking about a small and very isolated island in the north of England.” The council is also seeking a caretaker willing to commit to a 10-year post, which is a pretty big ask.
Still, the job sounds like a dream. The primary responsibility involves running the island’s pub, called the Ship Inn, a popular spot for tourists outside of the rough winter season. The caretaker will also be tasked with maintaining the island’s roughly 50 acres, which house four private cottages and a 14th-century castle. (Castle maintenance isn’t part of the gig.)
It’s a big job, and it comes with a big title. “Tradition holds that each new landlord is crowned ‘King of Piel’ in a ceremony of uncertain origin,” the council wrote. During the ceremony, the new landlord is seated in an old chair, given a rusty helmet and sword, and baptized in a gallon of beer. The King of Piel must also swear an oath to be a good smoker, a good drinker, and “to give anyone found dead on the sands free refuge in the pub.” Now I just need to inquire about the 401(K) plan.