IT HAS been her life for nearly 30 years and Barbara McGovern is sad to see it end.
The 65-year-old has retired from being a barmaid having served in four Gosport pubs in the space of 30 years.
Her final pub, the Rose and Crown, held a special leaving do to celebrate her career and Barbara said it was a lovely way to end her time as a barmaid.
‘The landlord and lady at the pub held a very nice leaving party for me,’ she said.
‘It was a nice day to see some old friends and finally finish my career as a barmaid.
‘It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I am retiring, it just feels like I am on holiday.’
Barbara and her friend Marilyn Lock are off to America in May to start her retirement in style.
She said: ‘We are going to do a bit of travelling starting off by going up and down the Mississippi River.
‘We are then flying to Miami for a few days before heading to Atlanta, in Georgia, to fly home.
‘I am really looking forward to it and I don’t think retirement will sink in till I get back.’
Barbara, from Old Road, in Gosport, started off as a cleaner in the Jolly Roger in 1982.
She started her first official barmaid job in the Royal Arms, in Stoke Road, after doing a trial week but it wasn’t something she always wanted to do.
‘I didn’t set out to become a barmaid,’ said Barbara.
‘The landlady of the Royal Arms kept pushing me to do a week’s experience and I accepted.
‘She told me to start work properly on Monday but I refused.
‘The pub was a maritime pub and the sailors used to take the mick out of me so I didn’t want to carry on.
‘But she convinced me and I worked there for three years.’
Barbara left the pub when the management changed hands and went to work in Nelsons, in High Street, for ten years.
The Rose and Crown, in Stoke Road, was the last place she worked before retiring.
Barbara added: ‘I loved being a barmaid and I will miss the company the most.
‘I will miss seeing all the regulars.
‘I had some great fun over the years with some really great memories.’