After nearly 50 years of service to Glasgow’s pub scene, and after 20 years at the helm of the much-loved East End local, The Woodend Bar in Mount Vernon, Landlady Anne Dickie is retiring, and in recognition of her outstanding contributions, Dickie has been presented with an award by the owners of the pub, Star Pubs & Bars.
As Dickie steps into retirement, she is passing the baton to her daughter, Lesley Weaver, who already has 22 years of experience working at the pub. Lesley takes over as the new landlady saying, “I can’t ever imagine leaving”.
Born and raised in Glasgow’s East End, Anne Dickie has been a fixture in the city’s pub community. Her career began in silver service catering at the age of 15, entering the pub scene in 1976. Since then she has managed several well-known pubs across the city, including Ocean’s Eleven on Sauchiehall Street, The Phoenix on Stepps Road, the International Bar on Aikenhead Road, the Queen’s Park Bar on Dixon Avenue, and the Argosy on Paisley Road West.
“I recall when pubs were very different,” says Dickie, reflecting on her career. “A pint was 56p, food offerings were typically packet soup or a bridie and beans, and many pubs were adult-only establishments.”
In 2001, Dickie took over the lease of The Woodend Bar when the pub was struggling, and after hard work, including working until midnight daily during her first year, numerous redecorations, expansions to the dining area, the addition of a new function room, and extending the garden, she has turned The Woodend Bar into a much-loved community hub.
The award presented to Dickie not only honours her retirement but also serves as a tribute to her significant impact on the local community and the city of Glasgow.
Says Anne, “I feel very lucky to have done a job I love for so long. People come in to the pub as strangers and leave as friends, whilst our regulars are like family. There has been constant fun and laughter along the way, as well as a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Pubs have been through some tough times but, thanks to a loyal team of staff and fantastic regulars, we’ve got through. It’s a dream come true to be passing the pub onto Lesley – she’s passionate about The Woodend, and it’ll be in safe hands.”
With this change in leadership, The Woodend Bar prepares to begin a new chapter under Weaver’s stewardship, as she steps into her role with a promise to maintain the high standards set by her mother.
Lesley is not resting on her laurels. Upcoming plans include fundraisers for local good causes, including a defibrillator outside the pub that is easily accessible to local residents. Adds Lesley, “I get a buzz from running The Woodend Bar every day; I can’t think of any other job that would give me so much satisfaction.”
Matt Dyson, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Scotland added, “It’s a great honour to present this award. Anne has put her heart and soul into The Woodend Bar, and it’s a fantastic local with the warmest of welcomes. Numerous trends and bars have come and gone over the past two decades, but The Woodend and its exceptional hospitality have stood the test of time. Lesley has learned from the best and always goes above and beyond for customers. It’s great news for the community that The Woodend is staying in the family.”