Is this Hertfordshire’s longest-serving barmaid?

PUBLISHED: 09:43 31 October 2017

Sandie Martin, barmaid at the White Hart for 41 years,

Sandie Martin, barmaid at the White Hart for 41 years, "has a heart of gold," according to her colleagues. Photo: Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson

A barmaid has called last orders on over four decades of service behind the bar.

Sandie's seen many Christmases come and go at the pub. Photo: Peter RobinsonSandie's seen many Christmases come and go at the pub. Photo: Peter Robinson

Sandie Martin, 64, has been pulling pints at the White Hart in South Mimms since 1976.

When she walked into the pub for her first shift 41 years ago, a pint of the local ale McMullens AK was just 22p.

On Friday she was be joined by staff and Fergus McMullen, the brewery head, for her last shift and a presentation thanking her for her service.

Sandie may be retiring, but she’s not shy.

Barmaid Sarah Webb said: “She’s amazing, she’s got the biggest character, always smiling.

“She has the best connection with customers because she’s worked here so long.”

But Sandie says it wasn’t like that when she first started aged 23.

She said: “I was really shy when I started working - I used to blush.

“I used to spend half my time under the bar where the crisps were, trying to get my face back to normal!”

Sandie, who grew up in Potters Bar, moved to South Mimms in 1972.

Little did she know on her first shift that she would be putting together 41 years of good memories.

“We used to have a brilliant August bank holiday cricket match between the pubs,” she said. “Practically the whole village was drunk!”

Over the years she has seen enormous changes in the pub industry.

“They’ve done a lot to change pubs into restaurants now,” she said. “They’ve lost a lot of the atmosphere.

“It was lovely when it was more drink and beer related.

“It was just a nicer atmosphere, before the licensing hours changed to all day.

“The smoking ban had a big effect.”

Sandie has served thousands of pints at the White Hart over the years.

But although she’s planning on putting her feet up at last, the White Hart hasn’t seen the last of Sandie.

She has every intention of returning to take her place on the other side of the bar, drinking her favourite tipple of vodka and tonic.

She hopes that the beloved local pub will keep some of its old charm when it is refurbished.

“I will be returning to drink there,” she assured the Welwyn Hatfield Times. “It’s our local pub, and it should be kept as a village pub.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times