Gillian Tyrrell of The White Hart, Hazel Grove, has announced her retirement after a dedicated 38 years.
Gillian had already been pulling pints behind the bar of the London Road pub since 1975 when she took over the pub in 2008. No stranger to the loyal regulars of The White Hart, she jumped at the opportunity to take over and put her stamp on the popular hostelry.
“Having worked behind the bar for so long, it seemed only fitting that I would one day run the place!,” joked Gillian, “It’s been an absolute blast working at the pub and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.”
With many years of experience under her belt, she took the helm of the White Hart and steered the pub into success over the next 6 years; flourishing even in the face of recession when interest in the British pub and beer in general was at an all-time low. The secret to her success was to offer her customers something they couldn’t receive at home – quality entertainment coupled with delicious hand-pulled cask ale and an overwhelming feel of community spirit.
Gillian said: “Hazel Grove has a high volume of pubs that are, in many ways, quite similar to ours. Our success was all about understanding what our customers wanted. We offered live music, themed nights and group activities to encourage people to get out of the house and join us. Throughout the years we’ve had so many supportive regulars and it has always great to see people from all walks of life coming together.”
Gillian had no preconceived notion as to the challenges that a licensee faces when she took the reins.
“It is not an easy job!” exclaimed Gillian. “People think that running your own pub is as easy as pouring drinks and chatting to people but there really is a huge amount of planning that goes into everything you do. It really is a lifestyle and you have to be prepared to work hard but through all the ups and downs I still think it’s one of the most rewarding and enjoyable jobs you can have. I’ve truly loved every second of it.”
Tony Massey, Business Development Manager for Robinsons said: “Gillian really has had a great run with the pub. Her length of service is almost unmatched throughout the estate and it’s a huge testament to her passion for the trade. I, along with everyone at Robinsons Brewery, wish Gillian and her husband Dave a very long and enjoyable retirement.”
Gillian said: “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever and we’ve always received such great support from everyone at Robinsons Brewery. I know that the new tenants, Anna and Alan Farrow will be perfect for the White Hart and we would like to ask our wonderful regulars to give them a warm welcome.”
Speaking of the new tenants, Tony said: “Anna and Alan are a great couple with many years’ experience between them. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect duo to continue the hard work of Gillian and Dave and know that they will champion The White Hart for many years to come.”
Gillian said: “Now I have some more time on my hands I am looking forward to spending it my granddaughter Phoebe Rachel and my daughters Nicola and Julie.”