On the 29th October Jean Watts will celebrate 50 years of service at the famous Richings Park pub the Tower Arms. Jean started to serve the regulars across the Ivers back in 1971. Not only has she been an asset to locals at the pub for half a decade but is a well know and well-loved character in the area, often seen out for a run around the village.
Tony Stockhausen, owner of The Tower Arms remembers fondly when Jean started ‘Jean came to the Tower Arms back in 1971 for an interview. She had in tow her two nippers Stephen and Andrew. Her application was successful and for years she was known as Jean Jean The Food Machine! That was 50 years ago, so I am surprised I can still remember, and of course she is still going strong on the coffee machine!’
The Tower Arms Landlord Costy Ostache said ‘I remember the first day I met Jean, I was amazed by her loyalty for this place. I found in Jean a very warm and caring person and straight away I adopted her as a second mother for me. She gives 100% in the job she does, and in 50 years since she started to work here she never had a day off sick, even when she was feeling unwell she turned up for her shift, amazing work ethic. This place is part of her life and I am proud to be part of her life!’
Tower Arms regular Niki Weston beamed ‘She is the heart-beat of the Tower Arms. Every local pub needs a Jean. When you walk in, she brightens up your day with her smile and warm welcome.’
Jean is also a volunteer at GoodGym doing good deeds for the community mixed with running. Harsha Burton from GoodGym said ‘Jean is true inspiration and a local legend. She is always happy to help whether it’s litter picking, painting a school or helping at a community garden. Last year she helped me complete my virtual London marathon by running the last few miles with me. She’s positive, full of energy and always has a great story to tell. She can run faster and further than many people I know, I hope I can still run as well as Jean when I am her age!’
The Tower Arms has a long and varied history. Originally owned by the Tower family and called the Hare and Hounds beer house. By 1851 it became the Fox and Hounds and eventually in 1874 the Tower Arms. To commemorate this significant milestone for Jean and the Tower Arms family the restaurant will change its name to the ‘Jean Watts Restaurant’.