A popular Swansea landlady this week celebrates a 30 year career behind the bar. Bertha Lebrocq-Jones has been running pubs in the city since 1979 and, in spite of tough times in pub trade, is still going strong.
17 of those years have been spent at her current pub, the Beaufort on Pennard Road in Kittle. Before that she was running the Duke on Wine Street, and before that the Builders Arms on Oxford Street.
Bertha began her career behind the bar as an 18 year old barmaid, but it wasn’t until she was 30 that she took over the lease on her own pub. She explains: "If you’ve got to work for a living, I can’t think of many better ways of doing it than running a pub. I’ve loved every minute of it and have absolutely no regrets!"
Bertha does however acknowledge that it is hard work, saying "It becomes a way of life and you do whatever’s necessary to make the business a success. But it’s also hugely rewarding and you get back what you put in."
Over the last three decades Bertha’s friendly approach has won over drinkers from across the city and on Friday (23rd October) many of them are gathering at the Beaufort to celebrate her ‘pearl anniversary’.
So why has she stayed so long at the Beaufort? "It’s got everything. We get a really good mix of people, including families, which makes for a great atmosphere. It’s become my home and the customers have become more like friends. I can’t imagine running a better pub."
When asked for her top tip for would-be-publicans, Bertha said: "Take the time to get to know your customers. It’s all very well serving quality beer and good food, but if they don’t like the people behind the bar they won’t keep coming back."