0 comments19 AprilBilly Hamilton
It is with great sadness that Ann Helen Renton passed away peacefully this morning in the Borders General Hospital after a fairly long illness which she fought hard to the end, yet thankfully without pain.
Ann was brought up in Newtown St Boswells and nearly all her life she lived in the very same house on Glenburn Avenue which she was so proud to have bought and paid for herself. Attending Newtown Primary School and then Kelso High, Ann, loyal to employers throughout her life had just 3 jobs, as a machinist for Ballantynes Mill in Innerleithen for 12 years, J Barbour’s in Tweedbank again as a machinist for 16 years. Had it not been for the Barbour factory shutting, who know if we would have had that application form, but she joined us here at the Buccleuch Arms and was initially employed as Kitchen Porter in March 2008. Rachael and I knew she was hankering to get behind the bar and out-front speaking to customers. Recognising her abilities and social skills, she got the chance to train at being a waitress and barperson 2 years later. In June 2012 she took the exam to pass her Personal Licence Holders course and if the bar hadn’t already become her arena, then this confirmed it.
In her private life, she never married, she looked forward to her holidays with her sister Irene and husband George mostly to Turkey and always enjoyed the sunbathing and took a good tan. Her nephews and nieces were talked about often and were her extended family to whom she was extremely generous with when it came to Birthdays and Christmas times.
Ann enjoyed being the other side of the bar too and saved up holiday time to come to the Buccleuch for the 6 Nations rugby days, staff days out at Kelso Races, the odd day at the Cricket Club and the Bowling Club in Newtown where she managed one or two bar shifts but had to stop as she threw her loyalty behind the Buccleuch instead. She was houseproud too, and it wasn’t long before she had replaced all the windows in her house, as well as refitting her kitchen.
The Buccleuch Arms played a big part of Ann’s life where she has been one of the most trusted, loyal and long serving members of staff, whilst never asking for any awkward days off, happily working long hours or starting early and finishing later than the rota might suggest and working on right through until the job was done. Customers from near and far will miss Ann for her cheeky chat only when she got to know you, and her impeccable manners to those she knew less well or not at all, often welcoming new customers and tourists with a ‘Hello, ladies and gentlemen, how can I help you?’ You can just hear the way her mannerisms changed from the banter with the Sunday afternoon locals contrary to one of our big hoose customers!
The bar at the Buccleuch was a very big part of Ann’s life and we will remember her fondly.
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