When news happens, text ROMS and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Janet's death marks end of an era popular pub
9:39am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A POPULAR publican has been laid to rest in the village where she served pints for more than 40 years.
Janet Cook, who ran the Newport Inn, at Braishfield, died suddenly earlier this month and scores of mourners attended the much-loved landlady’s funeral at the village’s All Saints’ Church on Wednesday morning.
Afterwards, 80-year-old Mrs Cook was laid to rest in the churchyard where her late, husband Bernard, is buried.
Mourners then went back to the Newport and raised a glass in memory of Janet, who took over running the pub with her late husband in 1971, after her father, Alec Cottle, retired, The Rev Terry Hinks, who conducted the service with the Rev Canon Steve Pittis, described Janet as a “unique character the like of whom we shall not see again.”
He told that congregation that entertaining and piano playing was at the heart of Janet’s life.
“As a child, she followed her mother, Elsie Cottle, in learning to play the piano and in time she was playing at the Newport Inn. She played the piano for Valerie Malcham, then Edom’s Tap Dancing School. Often, she would sing in old people’s homes with her mother on the piano.”
Her big number was Burlington Bertie.
In 1934, Janet and her parents moved to Hampshire from London where both her parents had worked at a draper’s. Her sisters, Shirley and Edna, were born following the move.
Janet was a former pupil at Braishfield School and she also attended Thornhill School, in Southampton.
When she finished her schooling, she worked in the drawing office at Vickers-Armstrong in Southampton, before transferring to the company’s Hursley office. In 1950, Janet was a founder member of the Braishfield Seven Concert Party – a group who entertained people in the village with variety shows She also formed the Romsey Night Lights Concert Part with the late Peter Peace, of AH Cheater funeral directors.
“On countless occasions, Janet entertained people in village halls, hospitals and homes, always wanting to make others happy and to encourage them to sing,” said Mr Hinks during his address.
He added that Janet had a “kind heart” and over the years had supported many charities at the pub and that she was in her “element” at the pub’s old fashioned Saturday night singalongs.
Janet’s final piano performance at the pub was on Boxing Day last year.
“An era has ended, time has been called, yet the memories will last,” said Mr Hinks. The pub had changed little since Janet took over and in 2006 she was awarded the Silver Cross of St George Award by This England magazine for maintaining “English traditions”.
Janet had been cared for at Romsey’s Cedar Lawn Nursing Home for several months prior to her death at Southampton Hospital on October 6.
The Newport, which had been run by Janet’s sister, Shirley, since Janet went into care, is now closed.
Pub owners, Fullers, said Mrs Cook’s lease had been due to run out in January.
A spokesman for the brewers said: “We were obviously aware that Janet had not been well for some time, and were very saddened to learn of her passing last week.
“She was a brilliant and charismatic licensee, capturing all who met her with her infectious enthusiasm and engaging personality. She served at the pub with great distinction for an extraordinary number of years, creating a very special place to visit. “Rather than discuss the future of the pub, we would at this time prefer the focus to be on a great publican who will be very sadly missed, but suffice to say we will be exploring all the options for the Newport Inn in due course.”
Comments are closed on this article.