Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Oldest' barmaid 'won't quit' Wendover pub job

A 98-year-old woman, believed by her employers to be the oldest barmaid in the world, says she "won't quit pulling pints until they throw me out".

Dolly Saville has worked at the Red Lion Hotel in Wendover, Buckinghamshire for about 74 years. She still works a lunch shift three days a week.

She became a great, great grandmother in November and said she would like to teach the baby the pub trade one day.

Deputy manager, Sam Hughes, said: "Dolly is a real a tourist attraction."

He added: "We know she wants to work until she's at least 100, and we're certainly not going to ask her to leave."

"Everyone loves her and the customers always ask if Dolly's still with us - and we are delighted we can say yes, of course," Mr Hughes said.

'Real asset'

Mrs Saville, who will be 99 in April, started working at the Red Lion before World War II, but said she had not really wanted to work in a pub.

"The boss asked me if I'd like a job and I said no, then he asked again and I said I'd give it a try," Mrs Saville said.

In her time she has served a number of well-known people including ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyne, footballer Sir Stanley Matthews and former prime minister, Edward Heath.

"He came in for tea and toast. He was an awfully nice man," she said.

Her daughter, Anne Edwards, 78, said her mother would like to teach great, great granddaughter Darcey Mae Dugan "how to pull a pint when she's old enough".

Dolly Saville (centre) with four generations of her family

"There's a right way and a wrong way to pull a pint, and I can still do that properly at 98," Mrs Saville said.

Mr Hughes described her as a "real asset" to the hotel.

"Dolly is as good as anyone else and likes to keep busy. She is just as important to the hotel today as she was 70 years ago," he said.

Mrs Saville added: "I won't stop working unless they kick me out. There's no stopping - you just keep going. I love the work and I love the people here."

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