14th August 2012
KILMINGTON: Pub landlords set to celebrate 20 years in charge of New Inn
Brian and Denise Jenkins are about to celebrate 20 years in charge of New Inn, Kilmington.
The popular couple will lay on a buffet and cocktails for their customers to celebrate the milestone in the evening of Saturday, August 18th.
The actual anniversary is two days later on the 20th, but the party will be on the 18th. Things didn't look so good in February 2004, though, when the pub was destroyed by fire after spontaneous combustion of the thatch.
But the village spirit shone through as locals did what they could to help. The pub reopened a year later and Brian and Denise recalled: “We will never forget the people who rallied round to help us. It was amazing. Thanks again.”
All sorts of help were offered, and Brian said: “Some even bought us clothes.”
They originate from Port Talbot, Wales, but lived in Crawley before moving to Kilmington. Brian had left the army after 24 years and they were looking for a business.
One thing led to another and they were contacted by Palmer’s Brewery. They drove to Kilmington to have a look at New Inn, and Brian explained: “It was very nice. We didn't even get out of the car. It was the wife’s decision.
“But we didn’t expect to be here for 20 years. The life expectancy [of tenure] is about five years in this business they reckon.”
Denise added: “At the start we didn’t think we would survive, but 20 years on we are still here. We couldn't have done it without the great support of our skittle, crib and boule teams, and we are also the home of the British Legion."
PICTURE: MINE'S A PINT - Brian and Denise Jenkins
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