Meet the landlord: John Brett of The Pembroke, Old Portsmouth

Richard Bingham in 2015

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BEFORE he took to the beer pumps at The Pembroke, landlord John Brett was a keen market trader specialising in menswear.

In the mid 1960s, John, who grew up in Omega Street, Somers Town, worked at clothes shop Shirt King, in Charlotte Street, Landport, under its owner Norman Siegler.

By the end of the decade John set up his own menswear stores, selling jeans and T-shirts, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, and London Road, Waterlooville.

John, who was a pupil at Omega Street School and St Luke’s Secondary School in Hyde Park Road, Southsea, soon went on to become a market trader across Fareham, Chichester and Petersfield.

John said: ‘It was a good life when I was young. But as the years went by I wasn’t making the money in the clothes industry. So I decided to try something new. It seemed like the perfect move.’

Now the veteran landlord enjoys sharing the duties with his family and son Steve, who joined the pub’s ranks 10 years ago.

John said: ‘I’ve been here for many years now, and it’s coming to that point where I’m nearly at the age of retirement. Although I know I’m going to end up staying here until I die!’

‘I like to keep the locals happy, and for that to happen I have to make sure my ales are in good order.’

His son Steve said: ‘You’ve got to make sure the pipes are cleaned if you want to serve up a decent pint.

‘You’re not going to make millions out of this business, but every day is a new challenge.’