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General3rd Oct, 160 Comments

In today's to do list is my sales target, cutting up wood for the fires, putting our latest posts on Facebook, a load of other stuff and then "do blog". Well I did everything else and now I am here wondering just where to start. Maybe the beginning.

My name is Mark Rogers. I am 49 (although I sometimes do lie about my age) and I love pubs. Which is just as well because I am landlord of The Four Elms Inn near Edenbridge. I haven't always done pub work, only for the last 13 years. Before that I was a teacher in Croydon. I also had a convenience store business running in Central Croydon. It was all  hard work but rewarding in many ways. But it wasn't how I wanted to spend my career. I knew lots of people who hated it but were hanging on for their pension or afraid to leave the job security behind. Following dreams means stepping out of your comfort zone. That is a tough thing to do. You sometimes need a push and life has a way of doing this when the time is right though life's pushes can be rough. One fine day in September 2003 my partner dropped dead. At 33 years old. This makes you go through a lot of things. You have the inevitable grief to work through. You also become aware of your own mortality. You take stock of yourself and what you are doing. Then you slowly pick yourself back up and with the help of your friends you do something. I left work sold up and moved to Edenbridge where I began working at The White Horse Inn, now sadly closed down. I started by doing the cleaning and then learned all the different jobs in the pub. I had decided to follow a lifelong dream to go into the pub trade.

After 3 happy years at The White Horse the Brewery offered me the tenancy of The Royal Oak at Crockham Hill when the last people went bust and walked out. I took it. There followed four happy years rebuilding and running this super little pub until the brewery sold it and new freeholders took over. All I can say is life was not the same and we parted company. Make what you want of that! I went into a normal job but missed the trade. You do. It gets into the blood. So I joined The Old Eden, another great pub where I worked and learned. There is always something new to learn in every pub. You never stop learning. If you do then it's time to give up because you never know everything. I wanted my own place again and in 2015 Shepherd Neame gave me The Hatch in Redhill. After a brief stay there the opportunity came up quite suddenly of moving here. We jumped at it and the rest is history. So that is how it happened.

So here we are. And it's great. We have got a lot done and there is much more left to do to. Sometimes it is daunting to look at how much there is to do. There are never enough hours in the day. But I am going to make time to write this blog about life at The Four Elms Inn. I want to talk about what is going on, introduce my colleagues and some of our customers, talk about events, talk about real ales, muse on life in general and hopefully share something worthwhile. I hope you will join me in my blog.

All the best

Mark

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