A MAN who has been pouring pints for more than 40 years is finally hanging up his apron at the Lansdowne Strand in Calne.

John Webb, 78, has been working at the Lansdowne Strand as the cellar manager, and is now working under award-winning management partnership Joel and Anna Lear.

Mr Webb got his first taste for ale in 1975 when he worked for his cousin who had become the landlord of the Beaufort Arms in Royal Wootton Bassett.

He then worked as landlord from 1978 to 1987 at The Plough Inn, Ashton Keynes, and then turned to relief work for former brewer and pub owners, Courage before briefly retiring in 2003.

In 2004 he began working at the Lansdowne Strand.

In 2007 Mr Webb became solely responsible for all of the cellar work and the drinks ordering when the pub was taken over by Arkell’s brewery.

Mr Webb said: “I have seen lots of change in the industry then, before and now.

“The biggest that I have seen is the shift in importance from wet sales to food sales. This has been an incredible turnaround but you can see why.

“The pub is now a more family friendly environment and not just somewhere for the men to go after work.

“This is evident at the Lansdowne and Joel is doing an incredible job in the kitchen. I will miss the rapport with customers but not the clearing up at the end of a busy evening.

“The highlight of my time at the Lansdowne was achieving a 100 per cent grading from Cask Marque.

“I will still be well occupied in my second retirement.

“I will continue singing with the Chippenham Male Voice Choir and in the sixties group End of the Track.

“I will also have more time to pursue my love of long distance trail walking, which at the moment is the 220-mile Severn Way.

“I am also considering The Donnington Way which has the attraction of the chance of visiting every Donnington Brewery pub.”

Joel Lear, manager and head chef, who calls Mr Webb “the cheeriest, chattiest barman in Wiltshire, said: “John has been magnificent for us and we wish him well in his retirement and he is welcome back to help me with the beer lines whenever he likes.”