‘White Swan John’ celebrates 30 years behind the bar at Barrowby pub
A 71-year-old has been running a village pub for 30 years.
John Fairhurst, 71, of The White Swan in Barrowby, has been presented with a prestigious long service award by Star Pubs & Bars, the pub’s owners.
He’s probably the longest-serving innkeeper in the Grantham area.
The award was presented by Area Manager Dan Littlewood in recognition of his contribution to the community during his 30 years at the helm.
John, who was Chairman of the Grantham and District LVA for five years and is a Fellow of the British Institute of Innkeeping, is known locally for his passion for beer and pubs.
The pub at The White Swan won 2011 CAMRA Country Pub of Year for Grantham and has been in the Good Beer Guide for 20 years.
Entering The White Swan is like stepping back in time. Outside there are hanging baskets and flower boxes. And instead of live sport on TV, there’s conversation, darts and cribbage teams indoors.
The pub is also a meeting place for the local football and cricket teams and the occasional Morris Men can be seen performing somewhere. Food is served Wednesday through Saturday and there is an occasional quiz.
The White Swan has raised thousands of pounds for Nottingham Air Ambulance over the years, raising money for the RNLI, prostate and other cancers.
During the pandemic, John ensured the pub played a key role in the community, helping to relieve stress by offering beer and takeaway food, which was much appreciated by the community.
Before taking over The White Swan, John was bar manager at Stoke Rochford Hall and then briefly took over The White Lion at Colsterworth.
He gave it up when the lease expired at The White Swan, where he had a part-time job when he first moved to Lincolnshire as a depot manager.
John said: “I started out in car sales in Liverpool and always got a part-time job in a bar wherever I lived as I’ve always loved working in the industry.
“I’m quite a social guy and love to see people enjoying themselves. I also enjoy helping young people get their first jobs. I have never advertised staff, working here has become a right of passage.
“Some employees even ran their own pubs.
“I really love the traditional nature of The White Swan, as do my customers, without whom I wouldn’t be here today.
“So thank you to all my regulars and drinkers for all your support over the years and I look forward to celebrating my anniversary at the pub with you in a few weeks.”
Dan said: “John lives and breathes pubs and real ales and really deserves this award. He gives The White Swan his all and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“So Cheers John! And to many more happy years behind the bar!”