A WOKING pub manager has no plans to call “time” on his career despite celebrating a notable anniversary.

Gary Hollis marked 25 years as manager of well-known Wetherspoons establishment The Herbert Wells in Chertsey Road, making him probably the longest-serving publican in the town.

He has spent his working life in the world of hospitality, as his parents were publicans and Gary often ran their pub when they had a day off, despite being only 15.

A few years later, Gary drew on his experience of hostelry management, which included a stint running a snooker and health club, to successfully apply for the manager’s job at the newly-opened town centre pub. He has overseen the business ever since.

Gary said: “I am a big believer in the strength of communities and to me a pub should be serving the whole of society, and that’s what we encourage.

“Pubs have to offer their customers choices, whether it’s an early breakfast or a late nightcap. I have an experienced and long-serving team of shift leaders who keep things running smoothly, and that includes my wife, Viera, who I met in this very pub 23 years ago.”

One of Gary’s proudest achievements is the recognition given to The Herbert Wells by real ale devotees the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA). The pub has featured in CAMRAs Good Beer Guide for 26 years in a row, with a 27th appearance lined up.

Local members selected the pub after visits to check the quality of the real ales on offer. They also took into account customer service, decor and overall atmosphere in what was previously a Woolworths store.

A CAMRA spokesman said: “The Herbert Wells deserves its place in the Good Beer Guide 2023. It is our belief that if a licensee serves an excellent pint of real ale, then everything else in the pub, including customer service, quality of food and atmosphere, is likely to be of an equally high standard.”

Gary added: “This is a rare accolade and reflects the winning combination of our wide range of well-kept beers in stock, and we always have beer from local brewers on sale.”

He was also the overall winner in both the Pub and Pub Manager categories in the Wetherspoon Pub Awards in 2019.

Gary plans to carry on pulling pints at the busy bar. “One of the best parts of my job is seeing happy customers enjoying their leisure time,” he said.