Diane Crathern took the Richmond Arms in Godalming on in 1982 with her late husband Stephen.
She said: “Day one was an absolute nightmare. We came in and had to do a lot of cleaning. It was hard work but we were determined to improve the reputation of the pub and make it a success.”
The couple were embedded in the local community as they build their business, creating a social hub for the area.
Diane is known as ‘Auntie Di’ within her community and is much loved by her locals and her team.
A number of the team have been serving at the pub for many years such as chef Anne who has accumulated 38 years as well as assistant manager Joe, who has family ties to the site.
This includes his grandparents meeting at the Godalming venue, his mother’s waters breaking there when she was pregnant with him and Joe himself has now worked at the Richmond Arms for almost two decades.
The landlady has always loved being behind the bar and attributed the pandemic for reinvigorating her enthusiasm for the pub and community.
All about guests
About her business, Diane added: “There’s no great secret. We simply offer great hospitality in a clean, friendly, traditional pub.
“It’s all about our guests, listening to what they want (within reason) and offering amazing beer, obviously.”
Punch Pubs, which owns the pub, presented Diane with a commemorative glass plaque to mark her service.
Operations director Lucy Barker said: “Punch is delighted to have been able to present Diane with this award.
“She’s an amazing landlady and an inspiration to us all. We look forward to supporting her continued success at the Richmond Arms for many years to come.”