Local landlady Diane Crathern is celebrating this month as she marks her 40th anniversary running The Richmond Arms, Godalming.
Taking over the pub in 1982 with her late husband Stephen, Diane recalls that first day like it was yesterday, remarking, “Day 1 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.”
Diane and Stephen became stalwarts of the community as they built their pub business, creating a hub for the local area. Known affectionately as ‘Auntie Di’, Diane is much-loved within the local community and is adored by her team, who are like an extended family.
Notably, longstanding chef Anne has amassed 38 years of service, and assistant manager Joe has some extraordinary family ties to the Richmond Arms that go back three generations. His grandparents met in the pub, his mother’s waters broke there ahead of his birth, and he’s now been working there for almost 20 years!
Diane’s pride and passion for the pub has not waned in 40 years; she loves being behind the bar and even credits the recent pandemic for reinvigorating her enthusiasm for her beloved pub and the local community. When asked about the key to running a successful pub, she explains, “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.”
In recognition of Diane’s incredible service, Punch Pubs presented her with a commemorative glass plaque. Speaking about this incredible milestone, Punch’s Operations Director Lucy Barker said, “Punch are 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.”