Bar manager role like 'a night out' for retiring Judith

Judith Bethell bar manager at Haddenham Sports and Social Club

Judith Bethell is retiring from her role as bar manager at Haddenham Sports and Social Club after over 15 years. - Credit: Melanie Badcock

A popular bar manager who is retiring from her role after over 15 years has likened her work to “a night out getting to know people”. 

Judith Bethell stepped in to help out at a football club presentation evening at Haddenham Sports and Social Club after being approached by a member of staff. 

“Melanie asked if I’d go and help out as my daughter was working that night at The Three Kings pub,” said Judith. 

“I knew Melanie as she was a bridesmaid at my wedding. 

“I said if she wanted someone collecting glasses, I was happy to help.” 

The mum-of-three then took on evening shifts and soon took on the reigns as bar manager. 

“When Eric (ex-bar manager) retired, I was asked to take it on and I went from not being interested in that work to absolutely loving it,” she said. 

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Judith, of Haddenham, helped run a flower nursery business with her husband, whose firm spans three generations. 

During the daytime, she would help her husband while heading to the social club in the evenings, mainly at weekends. 

“Everyone was so friendly and there was never any trouble,” Judith said. 

Judith worked with around three to four staff, who she believes had an impact on her staying at the social club. 

And it was the family atmosphere that particularly pleased her most. 

“I treated it like a night out, getting to know village people,” she said. 

“We had one guy who writes music and has lived in the village for years, and if I had not had the chance to chat to him, we would not have known.  

“For me, the best bit was meeting the people.” 

Judith, who has seven grandchildren, finished her last shift on February 27 and will officially leave her role at a leaving party this Friday. 

She has received many messages of support and through social media, too. 

One of her retirement plans is spending more time with her family and redesigning her garden, but remains ready if any mishap comes along. 

“Mel has told me that I’m already on speed dial if she needs me,” Judith added. 

“We hope to see more of the world and take up a hobby. 

“I think if I’m going to do a job and make people feel welcome, then I think I’ve done my job properly.”