From cabin crew to pub manager - woman's new lockdown chapter

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

"I want to bring it back to the community pub everybody remembers."

That's the pledge from Abbi King, who took over as manager of The Gemini Pub on Sandy Lane in Dereham at the end of March - at the start of a tumultuous few months.

Abbi King, the new manager of The Gemini in Dereham

Abbi King, the new manager of The Gemini in Dereham - Credit: Abbi King

After taking over the business, Miss King was unable to open the pub's doors due to the national coronavirus lockdown.

The opening date was further pushed back as the pub's owner, Greene King, perfected its Covid measures including one-way systems, sanitising stations and table service options.

The Gemini Pub on Sandy Lane in Dereham

The Gemini Pub on Sandy Lane in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

"I had already been working at the Compleat Angler in Norwich when the opportunity to become a manager at The Gemini came up," Miss King said.


You may also want to watch:


"It was tough because I couldn't open straight away and let people know who I was and what I'm all about, but I got to work within the pub right away.

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

"We kept everybody updated on social media and ran virtual pub quizzes to keep spirits up. 

Most Read

"I was so happy when the doors finally opened."

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Before working in pubs, Miss King, who was born in Wolverhampton, was living in London and working for British Airways (BA) as a cabin crew member, but decided to leave the company as she wanted more stability.

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham

The Gemini on Sandy Lane in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Now, she has vowed to customers that she is in it for the long haul and has no plans to go anywhere.

Abbi King working at British Airways as cabin crew

Abbi King working at British Airways as cabin crew - Credit: Abbi King

Miss King said: "If you asked me when I was five what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said a barmaid.

"I have always known exactly what I wanted to do and it just came to a point where I wanted some more stability in my life and I left BA. I've always preferred pubs to planes.

"I'm also closer to my family now as they live in East Anglia."

Abbi King working as cabin crew for British Airways

Abbi King working as cabin crew for British Airways - Credit: Abbi King

Miss King is now on a mission is to turn the watering hole back into the community pub Dereham remembers.

During December The Gemini will be holding festive markets for Dereham businesses, offering children the chance to have a magical breakfast with Santa while also raising money for Macmillan.

For more information about the pub, search The Gemini Dereham on Facebook.



Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus