Celebrating 40 years in Wargrave

Jayne Worrall (centre) receiving Brakspear’s Best Sunday Lunch Award 2019 from chief executive Tom Davies (far left) and marketing manager Emma Sweet (far right)

Jayne Worrall, tenant at the Bull in Wargrave, recently celebrated her 40th anniversary of first arriving in Wargrave, on 8 January 1980.  Jayne has been in charge of the Bull for 21 years on and off and won a number of awards in that time, including including Pub of the Year in 2003, which she describes as one of the highlights of her time behind the bar.

Jayne says: “The Bull and Wargrave felt like home straight away. It is a very different village today to the one I first came to, but it is still a great community.  There are lots of people in Wargrave who are an integral part of my time in the village and I hope they continue to be a part of my life for many years, along with new faces coming behind them.”

Jayne, a former airline stewardess for what is now known as British Airways, moved to Wargrave from Mortimer with her former partner and run the Bull initially for four years.  She explained: “Forty years ago I was flying around and globe trotting rather than getting to know England.

“We applied for a different pub in Bix called The Fox, which is no longer there. We didn’t get it, but the person running The Bull at the time did and so it became available.

“This pub has so much character and history. There was no family history of running pubs, but my partner at the time really wanted one and so I became involved.

“Forty years later I am still here and I have come back and forth like a boomerang. When the offer first came about, I hadn’t even heard of Wargave!”

Jayne returned to Wargrave in 1998, having spent nearly a decade working in technical support and designing databases in the I.T industry.  Her second stint at The Bull lasted for 10 years. In 2008, she decided to buy a freehouse in Devon, but was compelled to return to Wargrave in 2013 and has remained at the Bull since.

Jayne says the pub is “unrecognisable” compared to when she first arrived in the Eighties, with a lot of changes to the interior. This has included exposing old beams and a fireplace, which have become part of the character of the The Bull.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May is a regular visitor and Stan Calendar, a local builder, has been frequenting the pub in the entire time Jayne has been there.

When she won Pub of the Year, Jayne received a prize of a trip to Athens, but exchanged it for a holiday to Cornwall with her mother.

She added: “Anybody who has a pub will know it is not just a job, it is a way of life. I believe unless you really enjoy it then you should get out because it is all consuming.

“It is not Monday to Friday 9-5. Fortunately, I have great staff and I couldn’t do it without them.”

Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive, said: “Congratulations to Jayne on this very impressive service milestone.  We are proud of the number of long-serving landlords and landladies running pubs with us, and value them as tremendous assets to our business and to the communities they serve.

“Jayne has been an exemplary landlady over the years, running a fantastic pub that is loved, as she is, by many loyal customers in Wargrave and beyond.   Far from resting on her laurels, she is always pushing to achieve more, and just a couple of months ago won the Brakspear Best Sunday Lunch award for her legendary home-cooked roasts.

“We’re delighted that Jayne shows no sign of leaving the Bull, or even slowing down, and look forward to many more years with her as a treasured member of the Brakspear family.”

Jayne was among a group of long-serving Brakspear tenants and head office employees who were invited to a special ‘Decade Club’ lunch at the Little Angel in Remenham last September. All the guests received a commemorative bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, presented in a personalised wooden box.