WHEN Linthwaite man Peter Stocks joined the Army at 17 he never dreamed it would take 20 years to get back to West Yorkshire.
He left the area in 1984 to join the Royal Dragoon Guards.
He was sent straight to Germany and apart from weekend visits, did not see West Yorkshire again until this year, when he took over as landlord of the Hare and Hounds at Upper Hopton.
Mr Stocks, 37, said: "It's fantastic to be back. Most of my family and friends are in Huddersfield."
After eight years with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Mr Stocks realised he did not want to serve his full 22 years in the Army.
So he transferred into the Army Catering Corps and qualified as a chef.
He said: "I wanted to get qualifications so I would have something to do once I came out."
Mr Stocks served in Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Norway, Canada and Gibraltar before leaving the Army as a sergeant in 1997.
He decided to use his catering skills in the pub trade and signed up with Bass brewery, now known as Mitchells and Butlers.
He worked in Warwickshire for five years, working his way up to manager level.
He then left for London to manage a pub for Vintage Inns, part of the Mitchells and Butlers group.
He said: "Everyone knew I wanted to come back to Huddersfield. So someone told me there was a vacancy at a Vintage in the area and I applied for it straight away."
Mr Stocks said he has big ambitions for the pub and he hopes he will make enough money this year to persuade Vintage Inns to fund his ideas.
He said: "It is a great pub already. I'm just finding my feet now, but I have a lot of aspirations for it."
He may be new to Upper Hopton, but Mr Stocks has a wealth of pub experience and is already using creative ideas to pull in the customers.
He has pledged to offer a special romantic table, plus a complimentary meal package, to the first person who tells him they intend to propose marriage to their partner on St Valentine's Day, February 14.
The first person to pop the question at the pub will get a three- course meal, a bottle of champagne, a special table and even a cushion for going down on one knee.
Mr Stocks said: "We decided to reward someone who is making the ultimate romantic gesture. It could be a man or a woman - it is a Leap Year after all."
Anyone interested in the idea should contact Mr Stocks at the Hare and Hounds on 01924 481021.