“The Lock”, a Tiptree tea room on the sea wall overlooking the Blackwater Estuary at Heybridge Basin celebrated 20 years since it’s official opening in 2003 this week with some of the original staff, friends and colleagues giving it a nautical theme.

“We want people to have a remarkable experience when they visit any of our tea rooms and the team at “The Lock” have ensured people leave with a smile on their face,” said Scott Goodfellow joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons.  “One of the reasons “The Lock” is so successful is leadership and over 20 years we have had a long line of inspirational leaders in this tea room, as in others.  It has been amazing to see people who started as nervous waiters growing with the business and moving to other roles within the company or gaining promotion in the tea room as did Kelly Enefer, the current manager.”

Scott took the opportunity to present a long service award to Nicky Goldsack and he praised her ability to develop successful teams.  Nicky said: “Twenty years ago I was new to Heybridge Basin and wanted to make friends, so I went to “the lock” and asked Lorraine if there were any jobs. To my surprise she said “yes”, and as they were busy, I started immediately – in at the deep end!”

“The amazing setting of “The Lock” attracts visitors and celebrities including Olly Murs and Jude Law but our real celebrities are our much-valued loyal customers”, said Scott Goodfellow as he presented a bouquet of flowers to Marie and Sue two very special local ladies.  Scott concluded by thanking landlord Clint Swann for his help and support over the years.

Being part of a thriving community was highlighted in the photos on display showing staff at the regatta and there may be one of a Burn’s Night where a foot long sword was plunged into the haggis by the kilt wearing MD.