From the Kent and Sussex Courier

Friday 14 May 1971

When the bar closes Mr. Tiffin the landlord stocks up on music

CASUAL customers at the George and Dragon, Tudeley smile appreciatively at the spirited piano music wafting over the lounge bar. They look around for the radio or loudspeaker and wonder where it is coming from. Regulars at the George know the answer, the landlord, Mr. Herbert Tiffin, is playing, but on tape. Mr. Tiffin and his wife, Elsie took over the George and Dragon three months ago. It was a totally new venture for them, for they had been in the entertainment world for years; Herbert Tiffin as a professional pianist and Elsie as a dancer. " When we took over the pub I still kept on with my piano playing but I found I couldn't serve customers as well," said Mr. Tiffin. " I looked at my tape recorder and got this idea." When the door has closed on the last patron Mr. Tiffin rigs up his recording set, adjusts the microphone near his piano in the sitting room and plays. "Mostly light stuff" he said, "Charlie Kunz* style. I play for about half an hour at a time."

The taped music has created tremendous interest among customers. In slack moments Mr. Tiffin also plays the piano in the public bar. "It's a great life." he said. " We both love It down here in the country." Before they took over the public house the Tiffins had a house In Tudeley. The former landlord of the George and Dragon became interested in an exchange, so Mr. and Mrs. Tiffin became the new hosts. Herbert Tiffin has been playing the piano all over the world since about 1929. He appeared in variety, cabaret and on radio under the name of Bert Crighton. During the war he was R.A.F. entertainments officer in Italy and arranged the Desert Air Force shows. From 1948 to 1959, Mr. Tiffin had his own group - 'Piano, Guitar and Bass'- and he hopes his two old friends of the entertainment world will be down to visit him soon.

* Charlie Kunz was a very successful piano player in the 1930s and 1940s with his melodic interpretations of popular tunes of the time.