Sunday Focus | Universal Joint ultimate racing fans' pit stop

ALLAN Roark's bar is unlike any other you will find.

For starters, most bars don't have a NASCAR sitting in one corner and a sprint car in the other - The Universal Joint, is the ultimate racing fans' pit stop.

The manager of Archers Manor at Newnham has motorsport in his blood, with stints racing in NASCAR, sprint cars, superkarts, grand prix bikes and water skiing spread across his life, as well as a historic bike that he hopes to get back on the track soon.

His day job, managing the sprawling events and conference centre Archers Manor involves long hours - 6.30am starts and 1.30am finishes are not unusual. As well as looking after the bar, there is a bistro and four event areas to oversee.

The punters are what has kept Mr Roark in the job for so long.

"You meet some sensational people, you really do, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds from all corners of the planet," he said. "People always fascinate me."

Despite his love of interacting with the customers, his entry into the industry was born from necessity rather than choice.

"A friend of my dad had a bar and he needed someone to stock the fridges during the Christmas rush, and two days before Christmas one of the bar men snatched it. Did the bolt, and he was a barman short. I started doing it, really enjoyed talking to people and learning what people were all about ... I've been doing it on and off ever since."

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