Norwich pub landlord Tim celebrates 20 years behind bars
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
A city landlord who almost lost it all is celebrating a milestone after turning his life around.
Drink and drugs nearly overwhelmed Tim Wood, landlord at The Jubilee, in Thorpe Hamlet, but he has emerged stronger from his struggles and today marks 20 years as landlord of the pub.
In honour of two decades of pint-pulling, he has commissioned a special Grain Brewery golden ale, named Life Behind Bars, for his regulars to enjoy at a party at the St Leonard's Road pub tonight.
Not that Tim will be sampling his own ale, however, having been teetotal for the past 13 years.
After getting his life firmly back on track, the 48-year-old said he was looking at a bright future with his family. 'I enjoy the pub far more now that I am clear-headed and clear-minded,' he said. 'I believe you have to hit rock bottom to recover, and I have come out of it a far better person.'
Tim began his life in pubs on the other side of the bar, and worked for many years as a doorman in the city, before taking over at the Jubilee in 1993 at the invitation of then-owner Ivan Brown, who now owns The Murderers. 'I'd never been in the pub before, but as soon as we walked in it just felt like a lovely atmosphere,' he said.
Switching to the other side of the bar was 'a big learning curve', but one which he took to. It was during the late 1990s that Tim ran into serious problems.
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'I was a big drinker and was drinking with nearly all the customers,' he said. 'I turned into an alcoholic and a cocaine addict. I was in a real state mentally and physically and I was spiralling out of control. But something clicked inside me and I decided that wasn't what I wanted any more.'
With the support of people around him, Tim attended a retreat in Scotland and got clean – but insisted on returning to run the pub he loved. 'My counsellor and family wanted me to give it up, but I wanted to keep running the pub,' he said. 'Ultimately, I think it made me stronger, having to give up with it all still around me.' Tim also takes clients as a hypnotherapist and is studying psychotherapy – something which came naturally to him.
'Having been a landlord I've actually been a counsellor for 20 years – listening to people's problems over the bar. But alcoholics and drug addicts are much more responsive when they know you've been there yourself.'
After getting clean, Tim married Katie, with whom he runs The Jubilee, and the couple now have an eight-year-old daughter, Isabella.
Over the years Tim has seen many changes, but he insists being a landlord is still worth it.
'It's something I love and you can't look at it like any other job,' he said.
The Norwich Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs and support local brewers in our Love your Local campaign. To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal
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