VISITORS staying at Welshpool’s, Royal Oak are only ever likely to meet team member Dave Allan early in the morning.

For he is the hotel’s night porter who has held the post for 11 years and has become a familiar friendly face with guest regulars.

Scottish born Dave, aged 54, affectionately known as ‘Scotty’, has a special claim to fame in that he has been named the Coaching Inn Group’s Night Porter of the Year. Dave, who worked in a hotel north of the border for 18 years before moving to Welshpool, received his trophy at a glitzy special awards night held at the Three Swans in Market Harborough.

Dave said: “I love the family atmosphere here and everyone’s friendly company as well as talking to guests both old and new.”

Kevin Charity, CEO of the group, which has 14 market town coaching inns and hotels across the country, said Dave took great pride in his work and frequently went out of his way to ensure that guests had an enjoyable stay in Welshpool.

The Royal Oak Hotel was one of the nation’s most celebrated coaching inns during the early 1800s, being at the meeting point of important roads from Chester, Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Aberystwyth. The earliest surviving record of Welshpool’s Royal Oak Inn is a diary entry, dated 1724, by a well-known local Quaker minister, John Kelsall.