Droitwich's longest-serving landlord and landlady celebrate 25 years at the helm - The Bromsgrove Standard

Droitwich's longest-serving landlord and landlady celebrate 25 years at the helm

Bromsgrove Editorial 4th Jul, 2022   0

DROITWICH’S longest-serving publicans have been given a prestigious award after notching up 25 years at the town’s Barley Mow pub.

Tony Gardner, 81, and Jinny Gardner, 64, were presented with the accolade by the venue’s owners Star Pubs and Bars.

The pair, who have more than 40 years in the licensing trade, took over the Hanbury Street pub in June 1997 when, operations director Paul Linton said, it was a ‘little-used and unloved local’.

They refurbished it and brought it into the 21st century, introducing home-cooked food. The large, dog and family-friendly pub also has a pool table, darts and a jukebox, shows live sports and hosts live music on weekend.

During their quarter of a century, they have helped raise more than £20,000 for charities, including St Richard’s Hospice, the local fire service charity, Air Ambulance, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

They have also created more than 100 local jobs including for children of customers.

Tony said: “We’ve loved taking the pub from zero to a much-loved local – the moment we saw The Barley Mow we knew it was for us and could see its potential.

“Droitwich also captured our hearts as it is a pretty town, though it has grown enormously in the time we’ve been here.”

He added the pair had also enjoyed training up staff and ‘letting them fly’.

“One of our lads came for a year to learn the ropes of working in hospitality and went on to a management position in a local hotel.”

Before moving to Droitwich the couple ran a pub in Oxfordshire and, prior to that, Tony had his own window fitting business and Jinny was a dance teacher.

They both had jobs in pubs from a young age with Tony running his first one at the age of 19.

Jinny said: “We had friends with pubs and always worked behind the bar for other people. So we thought we might as well do it for ourselves. “We’ve no regrets as we love what we do – being at the heart of the community and being involved with major milestones like christenings and weddings.”

Jinny said the hardest part was having to stay shut during the pandemic and it was so lovely to be open again.

The pub currently cannot offer food due to staff shortages but hopes to again before the end of the year.

“Thank you to all our regulars – old, new and ones no longer with us – for supporting us all these years.”

Tony and Jinny held a weekend of celebrations to mark their 25th anniversary, putting on live music a disco and karaoke for over 150 regulars.

Mr Linton praised the pair and said the long service award was well-deserved.

“They have given The Barley Mow their all, creating a fantastic local community pub,” he added.

“It is great news for those working and living in Droitwich that they have extended their lease of the pub and have no plans to retire.”


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