LANDLORDS Carol and Winston Chapman, who together have run four pubs around Gwent, are testimony to the fact that working together can be a secret to staying together as they celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this weekend.
The pair met at the Majestic dance hall on Stow Hill, Newport. Mrs Chapman, 66, said: “We got married on March 16, 1964 at Newport’s register office. We were very young. It doesn’t seem that long ago, we can’t believe it’s been 50 years.”
The first pub the pair ran was The Inbetween in Usk, some 23 years ago.
“We always wanted our own business. When we saw it was up for tenancy we just thought what a lovely place to work,” said Mrs Chapman.
Asides from some experience of changing barrels, this was a totally new venture for the couple, who stayed there for three years.
Prior to this, Mrs Chapman had worked as a manger in retail, while Mr Chapman – now 70 – had spent years working at Llanwern steelworks.
“When we first started working together, we thought it was wonderful. We’ve both got different roles within the business,” said Mrs Chapman.
“It was a big career change. It was quite late to go into the trade but we have loved it ever since.”
After Usk they went to Llanmartin where they owned The Old Barn Inn on Magor Road for nine years.
“We are very proud to say we won Newport in Bloom eight out of nine years as well as a Wales in bloom competition,” said Mrs Chapman.
“After that we went into retirement. But after a year we decided to go back into pubs.”
The next stop was Newport’s The Dodger, in Clarence Place. The pub was renovated and after two years management was handed over to their son Paul, who still runs it now.
Eight years ago they moved to The Hand Post Pub on Risca Road Newport – the pub they continue to run and live at now and where their granddaughter, Jodie, now manages.
The couple have two children, Paul and Tracey, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
“We’ve got five generations in our family now.”
Friendship seems at the heart of both a successful business and marriage.
“Over time it becomes a more loving relationship – we are like best friends. As well as love – it’s friendship,” Mrs Chapman said.
She added: “But we are ready to retire now.”