Paul was working as a night club DJ and Anne was a manageress in a restaurant until 1975 when they decided to kind of 'meet in the middle'. They decided to take a job in which they could both work together - and forty years later they still get great joy out of doing just that.
They originally went to the long gone Hull Brewery and asked for a job managing pubs, but they asked "Which team did you play for, Hull or Rovers?" Apparently most of the Hull Brewery licences were former rugby players, and you weren't even considered until you had played for one of Hull's iillustrious rugby league teams!
They went instead to Whitbread, who immediately offered a role as Assistant Managers at the Halfway House in Dunstable. It's still there, though has since had a hotel strapped on the back. There was not enough rock'n'roll involved however and before long they moved south, to Hammersmith and Watneys famous The Black Lion, a Thames side river pub, at the end of Chiswick Mall.
Paul & Anne's first tenancy pub in Whitstable
the Punch Tavern, now called the Quayside.
The legendary TRITON INN in Brantingham.
172 covers, spread over a bar, a restaurant and a ballroom.
Oh, plus 102 outside and over 100 car parking spaces too!
The Black Lion on the riverfront at the end of Chiswick Mall was a very busy pub, seven days a week, especially on a hot summers day when the garden would be full of customers enjoying an hour by the river. Among the Rusling's customers were Vanessa Redgrave's family, Magnus Pyke - then a popular TV presenter and scientist, and many staff and artistes from Island Records, just across the road in St Peter's Square, who were all regulars at the Black Lion. Not to mention the legendary 'Soho Jim" who ran a chain of shops in the West End and who always asked that he not be mentioned!
The Crystal Palace, on Anerley Hill, London SE19
The Swan Hotel in Royal Tunbridge Wells
In 1982 we decided it was time to settle down and take a quiet little pub by the beach in Whitstable, Kent. On 4th June 1982 we took over the Punch Tavern, which had previously been the haunt of Screaming Lord Sutch when he ran his radio station on the nearby Shivering Sands Towers.
Our first child (our daughter Dawn) was born later that year and was brought up for the first few years of her life at the Punch. We were soon drawn back into the world of watery wireless again and it was here that the Laser project came about. The pub soon became a 'Mecca' for radio enthusiasts, and it did become a bit too hot for a time, although the DTI's suspicions that the pub was the nerve centre of the operation were misguided. We hiured a really good management couple and bought a hous six miles away at the other side of Herne Bay. We decided to sell the tenancy of the Punch in the mid 80s and after a brief experience with another radio ship, we spent some time in the Bahamas.
Paul then did some training of pub managers for Vaux Brewery but by the 1990s was spending more time on radio work in Poland, Lithuania, Russia, etc. Radio consultancy work with a variety of radio stations throughout the 1990s ment long periods in Holland and Germany and and then seven years in the Isle of Man.
It was to be twenty years before we returned to the licensed trade, when we took on the lease of the Triton Inn in the lovely picturesque village of Brantingham, near Brough in East Yorkshire, and quite close to our native Hull.
The Triton is a huge country pub with a ballroom. It could seat 170 at a time for food. We built the trade and pretty soon could do over 700 full meals on our busiest days - we had a team of up to 29 staff though! We had eight very happy years there and finally sold the business to a local family in August 2013.
We then got a great offer and so switched to William Younger's Inns, a part of the then giant Scottish & Newcastle brewery. We did several relief manager stretches,including a memorable time at the Roebuck on Richmond Hill, next door to Mick Jagger's house.
Crystal Palace Hotel
After six months "on the hill" we moved on to manage the Crystal Palace Hotel in South London, a mecca for pirate radio operators due to its height and 'view' over central London. We reopened up the old ballroom at the back and put on reggae nights which saw up to a thousand customers flow through the doors to see the likes of Desmond Dekker and Judge Dread.
Our busiest day at the Crystal Palace was in June 1981, when Princess Diana married Prince Charles in St Paul's Cathedral. We were totally mobbed, not by wedding guests, but by part of the 30,000 people attending a concert by The Who across the road in the Crystal Palace Park. We sold out of food by 10:30am and all our draught beer was gone before 1pm, so we shut up shop and went to the gig too! Two weeks' takings in one morning!
In 1980 we moved to the tranquility of Royal Tunbridge Wells and ran the much more genteel Swan Hotel on The Pantiles. After a break there (!) we embarked on further relief work with Charringtons, including such exotic taverns as the Rising Sun in Slough, the Rose & Castle in Milton Keynes and the Swinging Sporran at Weston Favell. Relief work was great, at up to triple the normal pay, but we had other things in mind. . .
The Halfway House in Dunstable
Paul & Anne Rusling's pubs
appeared in several editions of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide
Everyone loves a good wedding, they are the social highlight of many families' calendars, although they do say that its one of the most stressful times of your life. Paul and Anne have hosted more wedding celebrations than they can remember - it's well over 300.
At the Triton, the huge ballroom could seat around 100 for a 'sit down five course Wedding Breakfast. These were held on almost any day of the week, though usually Saturdays were the most popular. One memorable day they even hosted TWO weddings and the team still managed to cope with regular diners; fortunately the Triton had three rooms so could easilly absorbs different parties.
Anne is a very experienced wedding planner and managed most aspects of the day, while Paul was squeezed into his Master of Ceremonies regalia to host the proceedings. That usually included his 'skills' as disc jockey for the evening's fun!
Paul & Anne as PUBLICANS & RESTAURANTEURS