Pub-goers are once again enjoying supping a quiet beverage and the lifting of lockdown has brought table service taking away timely queues at the bar.

But one Surrey pub in the mid-1960s was ahead of the times after it got a canine companion on the job.

A Daily Mirror photographer met Rex in 1965 and catalogued his remarkable talents when it came to tidying up after last orders at the Punch Bowl in Dorking.

“As the final, plaintive cries of ‘Time, gentlemen, if you please’ stirred the customers into draining their glasses before making their way home, Rex gets his teeth into his nightly task of collecting up all the empty bottles at the Punch Bowl in Dorking.”

Rex, a seven-year-old German Shepherd would pick up bottles in his mouth and carry them one by one behind the counter, where he stacked them in crates.

His owner Stanley Gill told TeamDogs how at the time that Rex had only needed a 15-minute lesson from him to grasp the task, although the pub licensee added that at first the German Shepherd had found it hard to tell the difference between full and empty bottles.

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“But the customers were not slow in instructing him in the art…”

Rex may be long gone, but we will raise a glass (or a bottle) next time we’re in a pub to this clever, conscientious canine.

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