Teen’s call to the bar as he takes on Cherry Tree pub in Yaxley, Suffolk

Charlie Watts is believed to be the youngest licensee in the country when, on his 18th birthday on Saturday, he becomes the landlord of The Cherry Tree in Yaxley. Pictured with mum Nikki. Charlie Watts is believed to be the youngest licensee in the country when, on his 18th birthday on Saturday, he becomes the landlord of The Cherry Tree in Yaxley. Pictured with mum Nikki.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
12:35 PM

A teenager will receive an unusual birthday present when he becomes what is believed to be Britain’s youngest landlord on Saturday.

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Charlie Watts will turn 18 on January 18 at which time he will officially be named landlord of the Cherry Tree Pub in Yaxley, near Eye, in Suffolk.

He will work alongside his mum, landlady Nikki, after his dad, Andy, decided to leave the trade and became a business development manager at Southwold Pier.

The former Hartismere High pupil, who is studying for an NVQ in hospitality alongside working at the pub and has a 12-year-old sister, Holly, said he was looking forward to introducing more events and food-themed nights later in the year.

“This is comfortable for me,” he said. “It’s something I’ve lived with for 11 years and it’s like having a career in your house and I know all the people.

“It’s like working with your friends 24/7 and it’s great.

“I left school without the qualifications to get a proper job and flitted between jobs I didn’t really care about and this came up and it seemed the best way to go for me.”

Mrs Watts, 41, who took on the pub with her husband 11 years ago and also runs a Post Office from the premises, said the pair would be working in partnership.

“I think it’ll work because our relationship can only get better,” she added. “Mother and son relationships at 18 are quite hard but upstairs I’m still mum and down there we’re a team.

“I also want him to have the life of a normal 18-year-old with his friends so we’ll take it in turns to lock up every other night. He’s a natural, but then he’s grown up with it so he’s got all the social skills.”

Charlie is due to celebrate his 18th birthday with a party for friends and family in the pub on Saturday.

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