The Jolly Fenman re-opens March 2023

Friday 24th March 2023 was the grand re-opening of The Jolly Fenman after a refurb, but it was on 6 March 1957 that the pub originally opened. Like most pubs at that time, it was divided into smaller bars: the Kingfisher Lounge, the Saloon Bar and the Public Bar. Paintings of geese and ducks adorned the walls, along with a specially commissioned painting, ‘The Kingfisher’. A competition was held to choose the name of the new pub, and the winner was Mr Tidy of 14 Curran Avenue. He won a cheque for £25 and had the honour of drawing the first pint of beer, attended by the directors of Watney’s (the brewers) and the pub manager, Humphrey Seaman, an ex-Irish Guardsman.

Robert Joseph Henry Tidy had been born in Ireland in 1899 and served in the Royal Marines during the First World War. He moved to Blackfen with his wife Annie in 1932 and worked as a postman. He died in 1960.

I don’t know what the inspiration was for Mr Tidy’s name ‘The Jolly Fenman’, but I like to think he was celebrating the cheery nature of us Fen dwellers and that we like to enjoy a pint with friends.🍻