Jayne pays homage to the greatest show on earth at her pub

Supervisor Tina Bennett (56) with the General Manager, Jayne Tilsley (42)
Supervisor Tina Bennett (56) with the General Manager, Jayne Tilsley (42)
Black smoke billows into the air   Picture: Jeff Coates

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The Olympics may be over, but one Waterlooville pub is vowing to keep the spirit of the greatest show on earth alive.

Hanging behind the bar of The Woodpecker in London Road is a display that pays homage to our star athletes.

Photos of gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis and bronze winner Rebecca Adlington are attached to an Olympic flag.

The pub’s supervisor Tina Bennett, 56, sprayed wire mesh gold and welded it together to make an Olympic torch for the display.

Union flags hang above the bar and vintage Coca-Cola bottles make up the rest of the colourful artwork.

The rest of the pub has been given an Olympic theme too.

The conservatory contains a basketball hoop, a bow and arrow, boxing gloves and judo equipment.

Attached to the walls are photos from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

And above the fireplace hangs a union flag with a hockey stick attached to it.

Tina and pub manager Jayne Tilsley, 42, transformed their local into a haven for sports lovers after this year’s UEFA European Football Championship.

Jayne, who has been in charge of The Woodpecker with her partner Miles Teece, 39, for nine months, said: ‘I’m sport-mad and I thought it would be a great idea.

‘To run a pub these days you have to stand out and offer customers something a bit different.

‘The response from everyone has been really good.

‘The customers weren’t given the chance to watch sports in the pub before so we’re making a big thing of that too. We’re going to be airing the Paralympics as soon as it starts.

‘The pub is in need of a refurbishment so in the meantime we thought we would cheer the place up.

‘I couldn’t have done it without Tina.

‘I love displays. Before the Olympic one I made a Pimm’s one for this year’s Wimbledon Championships.’

She added: ‘People think the Olympic theme is fascinating.

‘We wanted to make people feel more welcome.’

Jayne and Miles employ a cleaner, two chefs, one barman and five barmaids as well as Tina.

Jayne treated 16 customers to a day out at Goodwood Racecourse on August 3.

And she will keep up the goodwill gestures when she takes punters to Fontwell Park Racecourse on October 6.

‘I’m a community-minded person,’ Jayne said.

‘I see this as more than just a job. I love what I do.’