Henley brewer and pub operator Brakspear recently hosted a celebration for members of its ‘Decade Club’ of landlords, landladies and head office staff with at least 10 years’ service. In total, the 25 guests attending have racked up an impressive 294 years’ service with Brakspear.
The special lunch, held at the Little Angel in Remenham, Henley, was hosted by Brakspear’s chief executive Tom Davies and chairman Michael Davies. Licensees were invited from 11 pubs, many of them in or around Henley but also from further afield in London and Whitstable.
Heading the long service record from the pubs were Les & Julie Gordon from the Leathern Bottle in Lewkerne, who have run the popular village pub for 38 years. Other pub guests included: Curley & Jean Chandler from the Rainbow in Middle Assendon with 29 years’ service, Pat Thatcher & Tony Read at the Flower Pot in Aston with 27 years; Seona & Gordon Mackenzie from the Clifton Arms, Caversham with 23 years; Jayne Worrall, with 23 years, most of them at the Bull in Wargrave and Melanie & Colin Roberson at the Saracen’s Head in Henley, with 22 years.
Trumping all the licensee service records however, was John Trickey, who started working for J T Davies – which later merged with Brakspear – in 1955. Starting as a wages clerk, Trickey’s 64-year career has included stints as an area manager, surveyor and maintenance manager.
All the Decade Club guests received a commemorative bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, presented in a personalised wooden box.
Tom Davies said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating with this group of talented licensees and head office employees, who have all made an enormous contribution to the success of Brakspear over the years.
“The pub industry has presented a number of challenges over the last couple of decades, so for these licensees to still be running a thriving pub is a testament to their skill and resilience. We’re very proud to have all these individuals within the Brakspear family and look forward to celebrating more long service milestones with them in future.”
Melanie Roberson, landlady at the Saracen’s Head on Grays Road, said: “It was a lovely lunch, and a wonderful gift – thank you Brakspear!
“Looking back over our 22 years at the pub, some things have changed: we sell a lot more wine and gin than we used to, and showing sport has become a big part of our business. At our heart though, we’re still a great community pub, offering our customers a friendly atmosphere where they can unwind with a pint of beer. We haven’t really changed that much, and that’s what people love about us.”