Despite initial reservations I've loved my 36 years as a barmaid at Edinburgh West End pub Mather's

Liz Taylor, 66, from Newcraighall, talks about her 36 years of pulling pints at Mather's in Edinburgh.
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When I first walked into Mather's for a job interview in 1988, I didn't think it was the kind of place for me. I thought it was an old man's pub and not the kind of place a 30-year-old like me wanted to work.  

But here I am getting set to retire after 36 years working as a barmaid in the pub. It’s bittersweet, leaving a job that you’ve loved for so long.

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On the one hand, retirement will give me the chance to spend more time doing a lot of the things I love; gardening, reading and going to car boot sales. I’ve also got my grandchildren and my dog to keep me busy.

But on the other hand, I’m leaving a pub and a job which has given me so many great memories and laughs over the years and I’ve had the privilege of meeting lots of great people within its walls. 

Mather's barmaid Liz Taylor brought some Hollywood glitz to the Edinburgh pub.Mather's barmaid Liz Taylor brought some Hollywood glitz to the Edinburgh pub.
Mather's barmaid Liz Taylor brought some Hollywood glitz to the Edinburgh pub.

Working here has also given me the chance to go on some incredible trips. We’ve gone away with the Tartan Army and we’ve also had pub trips with customers to places like Zeebrugge in Belgium. 

That’s why I’m honestly able to say that I’ve enjoyed every minute working at Mather’s. I’ve never dreaded coming into work or wished I was doing something else. It’s the kind of pub where everyone knows each other and so it’s lovely to walk through the doors and start your shift when you’re among friends.

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It’s difficult leaving a place like that, and the people. I’ll really miss the banter I have with customers and the things we do for each other.

But even though I’m retiring - an occasion we’ll be marking with a big party on Sunday - this isn’t really goodbye. Everyone has asked me if I’ll come back to visit and see everybody and I’ve said of course I will. There’s no way I could work here for nearly four decades and then just cut ties with the pub and everyone there.

It just means next time I’m walking in the door, I’ll be sitting at the bar as a customer with someone else serving me. And that will be a whole new experience - and one I’m looking forward to.

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