THE FIRST TEAM
Joe is our first, and hopefully not our last, Welsh member of staff, born and bred in Cardiff. Like every Welshman he is, quite rightly so, immensely proud of being Welsh and is great at selling our Welsh products.
He is utterly dependable, hard working and already popular with our customers. He's never the centre of attraction, preferring to keep a low profile, but I can see what he does for us. An ardent supporter of rugby (of course), he is also a big fan of Formula One. He loves beer (which is good) and he loves pubs with no music (which is even better) as he believes in going to the pub to talk. He studied Video Photography at uni and likes working nights so that he can dedicate days to his photography and making short videos. He hopes to have his own production company one day and if his dedication to bar work is anything to go by I am sure he will achieve this. In the 15 years I've owned OCH I have never had anyone come for their trial shifts with a notebook in hand! Within five weeks of Joe joining us he went into my book of 'All Time Great OCH Bar Staff' along with the others mentioned in our 'Retired' team.
You'll know when Tom's working as it's a bit like having a typhoon inside the pub. I've finally met my match in having someone around more hyperactive than myself. His dashing about bellies the fact that he is also very efficient and also able to handle situations swimmingly. Charming is how many customers describe Tom but let's not let him get too big headed. He tells me he's a talented musician (!) and if his choice of music is anything to go by then I would have to agree. Tom's taste in music is very mature (he is older than he looks) and we allow him to play his music as it stretches from jazz to rock to folk and all easy listening so conversation is still possible. A dying trait in pubs it seems. He has promised to bring his music in and treat us all to a taste of his piano prowess.
With his long flowing hair, Victor is our very first Belgian/German bar staff. Currently studying International Relations at King's College London Victor's grasp of the English language is quite phenomenal. He endeared himself to me in his interview when he told me he was already a customer and I could tell from his enthusiasm that he genuinely loved the pub. He said it was a cross between an English pub and a Belgium Bar and maybe that's why we have a lot of European customers. Victor is not sports orientated and only supports the Belgium national side in football. He plays both piano and guitar and we are hoping he will play for us one evening.
Along with Tom, our other musical bar man.
THE RETIRED TEAM (2005-2019)
These are all our All Time Greats as I call them and they have all contributed to the growth of OCH. Dominic has to be Captain as he was the backbone of the pub and for many years I had little to worry about. He was not only a superb member of staff, loyal and hardworking, he was incredibly popular with our customers and when he left for Sandhurst I had many customers ask about him. Dom is now serving his first commission in Chatham, Kent, and he still comes to visit us at the pub or at our hotel near Bath. The rest of the team consists of Yateen (a brilliant cricketer now an engineer in Mumbai), John (who returned to his native Scotland), Will (our chemistry major whose cellar work would have gained us Cellar of the Year if there was such an award), Andy (our ex US Marine who made me the most brilliant magnetic bottle opener ever before returning to the US), Hugo (who probably gave me more grief than everyone else put together and who's back in his hometown, Norwich, in the hope that he can rally the Canaries on to a better season), Duncan (our wine connoisseur who has moved back to his native Scotland), Tolga (ah Tolga, so quiet and always in the background but
so utterly reliable and dependable over the five years he was with us but now in the Midlands with his gorgeous little daughter), Thomas (our soft spoken Irishman now a doctor in a Manchester hospital) and last but not least, Weitika (our wine loving Dutch waitress who is now a partner in a top class restaurant and wine bar in Holborn).
And that's me, always waiting for a place in the first team.
But that's because Millwall is my team and we're not in the Premiership.
I've been told many times over that I am the most unlikely Millwall supporter
but that's because they never saw me on the rugby pitch!
My other team is Celtic, my first love, and yes I know, two teams who couldn't be further apart
and not just geographically!
But, as any decent Millwall fan would say, 'I don't care'.