The landlord and landlady at a local pub are celebrating 30 years of working with Henley pub operator and brewer Brakspear. Graham ‘Curly’ Chandler and wife Jean at the Rainbow in Middle Assendon will hit the impressive service milestone on 30 January.
The Chandlers started their hospitality career in January 1990 at the Coach & Horses in Binfield Heath, moving to the pub from roles in teaching (Jean) and retail (Curly). Four years later, they transferred to the Rainbow, which they have turned into a thriving pub, serving primarily the local community, as well as visitors to the area.
Curly and Jean are very ‘hands on’ at the Rainbow and this is key to the pub’s success, says Jean. “The pub sector has changed almost beyond recognition over the last 30 years: trading hours are more flexible, people are drinking less, and food’s a bigger part of the mix.
“Despite that, the heart of our offer is the same as it was when we started: a warm, relaxed atmosphere and friendly service. Curly and I are always in the pub, we know almost everyone who comes in and we give them all the same warm welcome – that’s what our customers like and it’s what brings them back to the Rainbow.”
The garden at the Rainbow is another point of pride for Curly and Jean, who created it almost from scratch and have nurtured it lovingly in their 25 years at the pub. The pretty, cottage style garden has stunning views across the Stonor Valley and is enjoyed by many visitors to the traditional 17th century inn.
Tom Davies, Brakspear chief executive, added, “The pub industry has presented a number of challenges over the last three decades, so for Curly and Jean to still be running a thriving pub is a testament to their skill and resilience.
“We’re very proud to have had Curly and Jean within the Brakspear family all these years and hope they will stay with us for a while longer.”
Curly and Jean were 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.