Landlady of The Bull in Wargrave looks back over 21 years at pub

A landlady has looked back at her time running a pub she first worked at 40 years ago.

Jayne Worrall took charge at The Bull, in the High Street, on Tuesday, January 8, 1980 and has run the pub for a total of 21 years over three separate periods.

Discussing how she came to the pub, Jayne said she had applied to run The Fox at Bix, near Henley, but the role went to the then landlords of The Bull. She added: “So they said you haven’t got The Fox at Bix but you can have The Bull in Wargrave. If you’d like it let me know by five o’clock, and I said ‘where is Wargrave?’.

“I’d never heard of it. As soon as I walked in the door I thought this is for me.”

The former British Overseas Airways Corporation stewardess, who moved to Wargrave to run the pub, spent four years at The Bull, which is owned by Brakspear, until the end of 1984 when she moved to another Brakspear pub, The Rising Sun, in Witheridge Hill.

Following this, the 67-year-old left the pub trade to work in IT, but came back to the The Bull in 1998 and stayed until 2008 when she bought a freehouse, The Ashburton Arms in Kingsbridge, Devon.

After discovering that the move wasn’t for her, Jayne came back to The Bull in 2013.

Talking about The Bull, she said: “I just feel comfortable and at home here.”

She added: “I’ve been here so many years, I know so many people, I’ve changed the pub so much in the years here.

“I extended it, I’ve exposed all the beams, I’ve exposed the fireplaces, so all the changes that have taken place over the last 40 years, I’ve done them, so it’s my baby really.”

Jayne, who was just 26 when she took over The Bull and has MP Theresa May as one of her customers, added that she has won several awards over the periods, including two marketing awards in 2002 and 2004, pub of the year in 2003 and best Sunday roast at the Brakspear Hospitality Awards in November 2019.

Discussing the history of The Bull, which dates back to the 1300s and 1400s, Jayne said: “It is haunted but it’s not spooky.”

She added: “It’s funny because I don’t feel as though I’ve ever really been away but, having had the pub three times, it’s like three different lives because demographics are different and social life is different. It’s almost like having three different eras. It is like putting on an old pair of slippers, you just feel at home and you just carry on.”

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