|Cheltenham Pubs beginning with A
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Adam & Eve, 8 Townsend Street, GL51 9HD
John Smith was the owner of the Adam & Eve in 1891 and it traded free from brewery tie. The Adam & Eve was a licensed beer house with an annual rateable value of £15.5s.0d. in 1891. Twelve years later in 1903 the annual rateable value had increased to £17.0s.0d. In those intervening years John Smith had passed away and the Adam & Eve was owned by the Representatives of his estate. In the beginning of the 20th century the pub was leased to Flowers & Sons, brewers of Stratford-on-Avon.
The Adam & Eve remained a Flowers & Sons tied house until 1968 when parent company Whitbread merged Flowers with West Country Breweries to form Whitbread Flowers Ltd. The Stratford on Avon brewery closed and Flowers beers were transferred to Cheltenham.
The game of skittles is very popular at the Adam & Eve. So much so that in the 1970’s the owners bought the adjoining terraced house to ensure that the noise from skittles matches did not disturb the neighbours. The pub doubled in size, but the alley remained in the same position thus making it one of the few pubs with a skittle alley in the middle of the building.
Brian and Dorothy ‘Dot’ Gasson first came to the Adam & Eve in 1978 when it was owned by Whitbread Flowers. They were previously tenants at the White Lion in Winchcombe. When Brian and Dot started at the 'Adam' it was an ordinary back-street local selling mediocre beer. The Courage beers on offer at the Royal Foresters on the other side of Townsend Street were more of an attraction for the discerning beer lover. In the early 1980's Brian's skills of keeping beer in great condition began to be appreciated – and the Adam & Eve gained an enviable reputation for selling some of the best kept pints of Whitbread PA in the town. In 1991, when Whitbread were obliged to sell off some of their pubs, Arkell’s Brewery of Swindon acquired the Adam & Eve. Brian and Dot were loyal tenants for the Arkell’s Brewery for 21 years and the Adam & Eve featured continuously in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide from 1992 until Brian and Dot’s retirement.
The Adam & Eve was voted by the Cheltenham sub-branch of CAMRA their Pub of the Year in 2002 and 2004. Tony Aburrow, then the chairman of Gloucestershire CAMRA said: " You feel like someone special every time you walk through the door. Dot always treats her customers as friends and I know of no other pub where the welcome is so generous and genuine." As for the quality of the beer he said, “When we inspected the cellar, you could have eaten your dinner off the floor, it’s so clean, and the beer tastes excellent.”
George Arkell, director Arkells Brewery said: "Dot has been a brilliant landlady over the years and we are lucky to have her, They don't make them like her anymore."
The success of the Adam and Eve is in its very simplicity. As Dot succinctly told the Gloucestershire Echo in April 2012: "You could go all posh and turn the whole place around, but the locals wouldn't like it. I love what I do", she said, adding: "I haven't taken a holiday for the past seventeen years but I don't need one. Chatting to people every day from behind the bar is what keeps me going. It’s a great pub – the kind of side-street place you don’t see much anymore. You come here for a drink and a chat, not loud music or machines. The people are what makes the entertainment.”
There was one exception to the rule, however. In the corner of the pub was a classic jukebox, spinning old 45 rpm records selected mostly from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
In 2012 Chie Konishi , a foreign student studying social history, wrote an essay on the relationship between the Adam and Eve and the local community. She spent a lot of time in the company of Brian and Dot and the regulars at the Adam & Eve gathering material for her dissertation. Chie, a teetotaller, was made most welcome every time she visited the pub although the reason for her assignment was probably not fully understood by the locals. She wrote: "A place like the Adam & Eve is a rare example of an autonomous local community that is not easily shaken by the global financial climate and social changes." However, Chie also speaks warmly of Brian and Dot and her sentiments are spot on when she observes: "What makes the Adam and Eve so special is Brain and Dot's dedication to serve the locals. This is a pub in which the conversations between people are truly valued and people take care of their neighbours and any other newcomers."
Brian and Dot retired from the Adam & Eve on January 2013. They held a weekend of celebration to mark their 34 years pulling pints behind the bar at the ‘Adam’ on 14th/15th December. James Arkell said, “When we bought the pub, we didn’t realise the jewel in the crown was actually dot. The rest of the world has gone around and back, but life hasn’t changed at the Adam & Eve. Dot has been a wonderful landlady and Arkell’s has been truly lucky to have her.”
Sadly, Dot passed away on 3rd February 2018. Her funeral service at the Cheltenham Crematorium was well attended and, as Dot herself had instructed, everyone wore bright colours.
The interior of the Adam & Eve has since had a makeover to bring it into the 21st century. The two-bar layout has been knocked through to create a large open-plan bar and Sky Sports has been installed. The garden, once mainly planted with Brian’s vegetables and Dot’s flowers, has been transformed into a welcoming walled outside drinking area.
Landlords at the Adam & Eve include:
Albert Arms, Hamilton Place, 85 St. Pauls Road, GL50 4HY
The Albert Arms was located on the western corner of Albert Street. An 1870 reference gives the address as 14 Hamilton Place. George James Cox was the owner of the Albert Arms in 1891 and 1903 but he leased it to the Cheltenham Original Brewery. It had an annual rateable value of £16.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903 and was licensed as a beer house. The Albert Arms closed in 1968. It is now a private residence with no visible evidence of its past licensed history.
Landlords at the Albert Arms include:
Albion House Social Club, North Street GL50 4DJ
From June 2011 to August 2012 the Albion House Social Club was given a £750,000 refurbishment. The club manager said, “It’s to meet demand and it’s to show that Albion House is a club that is part of Cheltenham. We have put railings and slabs to coincide with how it used to look 100 years ago but inside we have made things bigger to cope with demand.” The club had to borrow money initially to pay for the skittle alley which they had to repay as soon as possible. The manager added, “The skittle alley made so much money that we could afford to drop our prices which in turn brought more people to the club.” In September 2012 the club had 1,600 members.
Albion Inn/Tavern/Vaults, junction of Albion Street and Sherborne Place GL52 2RS
This licensed premises traded under different names. An 1870 directory refers to the Albion Porter Stores, Albion Street. A 1902 reference is to the Albion Tavern. In 1926 it is listed as the Albion Vaults in Sherborne Place.
Juliana Mary Georgina Bayley was the owner of the Albion Inn in 1891 and 1903. It was a licensed beer house. In 1891 the annual rateable value of the Albion Inn / Tavern was £25.10s.0d. For reasons unknown the rates were five pounds and five shillings lower in 1903 when they were valued at £21.5s.0d. Although Juliana ran the pub free from brewery tie in 1891, twelve years later she had leased it out to R.W. Miller & Co., brewers of Stokes Croft, Bristol. R.W. Miller were acquired by the Bristol Brewery of Georges & Co. in 1911 together with 48 public houses.
The lease of the Albion Inn was probably not renewed by the Bristol Brewery. A photograph clearly shows that the Albion Vaults was a Cheltenham & Hereford house.
Trading as the Albion Vaults it closed in 1968. The building is now Masjid Al Madina, the Bangladeshi Community Centre.
Landlords at the Albion Inn / Tavern include:
Albion Inn, 58 Gloucester Road, GL51 8PA
The Cheltenham Original Brewery owned the Albion Inn. It was a licensed ale house and in 1891 and 1903 had an annual rateable value of £21.5s.0d.
The Albion Inn closed in 1967.
In December 2002 the property was put on the market for £265,000. It was described as ‘a spacious, unique, late 1800’s four double-bedroomed house situated near Waitrose Superstore. Gas central heating, uVPC double glazing, three reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, new bathroom, double garage, off-road parking, walled sun terrace and garden.’
The building is now the Albion House Orthodontist Centre.
Landlords at the Albion Inn include:
Alders Stores, Winchcomb Street, GL52 2LZ
Charles Garton & Co. were brewers based in Easton Road, Lawrence Hill in Bristol. Garton’s owned the Alder’s Stores in 1891. It was a licensed beer house with an annual rateable value of £46.15s.0d. The Bristol based brewery was acquired by the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery of Shepton Mallet in Somerset in 1898. Alder’s Stores were owned by Anglo-Bavarian in 1903. In the intervening twelve years since the rateable value of the property had significantly decreased by over eight pounds to £38.5s.0d. During the First World War the ‘Bavarian’ connection was dropped from the title and the Anglo Brewery ceased trading in 1921 and part of the estate was sold to the Cheltenham Original Brewery.
Alder’s Stores (Inn) closed in 1930.
Landlords at the Alders Stores include:
All Bar One, 18 Montpellier Walk GL50 1SD
All Bar One opened on Thursday 14th April 2011 in the premises that previously housed Ha Ha Bar and Grill. The change came after the Ha Ha brand was sold to pub operators Mitchell & Butlers in 2010, comprising of 22 outlets in a deal worth a total of £19.5 million. The manager of the Cheltenham All Bar One said, “Loads of work has been done and it’s very different to how it was before.”
A review in May 2011 noted that ‘the new All Bar One is hitting the spot as a stylish place to catch up with friends and have a bite to eat. And stylish it certainly is with a palette of soothing sage and cream, wood tables, leather seats and soft, low lightning. A massive blackboard displays the menu and old wooden wine boxes show off plants and candles. Another wall near the entrance is covered in horseshoes, making an unusual feature. It has a feelgood atmosphere, light and airy with plenty of room and plenty of buzz – the music is a bit on the loud side but hey, there were a quite a few old fogeys like us happy to take it in our stride along with the hip young things. There are tapas-style small plates to snack on over a drink, sharing boards, grills, salads, pastas and burgers. You can even have a carb-free burger with beef tomato, baby leaf salad and tomato salsa.”
Alleyne Lodge, Knapp Road, GL50 3QH
Alleyne Lodge in Knapp Road is the branch of Cheltenham & East Gloucestershire RSPCA. The property is located just a few feet from the building in St James Square that was once the Burton Brewery Inn.
Allsopp Arms, Retreat Place
Anchor Inn, Tewkesbury Road – see the Old Anchor
Anchor Vaults, junction of Winchcombe Street and Warwick Place, GL52 2NP
Above: Anchor Brewery demolition - July 2008.
The Anchor Vaults was situated on the corner of Warwick Place and Winchcombe Street. The pub was the ‘tap house’ of the adjoining Anchor Brewery which was established in 1819. W.J. Clinch is recorded as brewer in 1878.
James Henry Wheeler was born in Cheltenham c.1846. In the 1881 census he is listed as a Master Brewer at the Anchor Brewery in Warwick Place, but just two years later he was declared bankrupt. The Anchor Brewery was put up for sale by auction on Friday 29th June 1883. In brief the brewing plant consisted of a 23-barrel copper, together with a 1- barrel copper, large ‘egg-ended’ boiler, a 6-horse-power vertical steam boiler and a 4-horse-power horizontal steam engine. Also included in the sale was about 450 casks and 1,500 gallons of ale and stout.
The Anchor Brewery and attached ‘wine and spirit vault’ was purchased by John Langford Righton. He was also the owner of the Harp Inn at 270 High Street (original numbering) and White Horse Inn in Townsend Place. Unfortunately J.L. Righton also fell upon hard times and was also declared bankrupt in 1891 with debts relating to the Anchor Brewery amounting to £288.10s.7d.
Henry Pointer was the owner of the Anchor Inn in 1891, with John Langford Righton in occupation. The annual rateable value was £20.5s.0d. and the Anchor Inn was licensed as an alehouse.
Twelve years later in 1903 the Anchor Inn had been acquired by Arnold, Perrett & Co., Ltd, brewers of Wickwar in South Gloucestershire. The annual rateable value had increased by nine pounds and ten shillings to £29.15s.0d. The Anchor Inn closed in 1920.
In March 2006 an application submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council to demolish the former brewery buildings was granted permission. The buildings had last been in use as a sign writing business – Signcraft. Barrie Stow, planning committee chairman for the Civic Society said: “We didn’t feel there was anything there of great merit to warrant its retention.” A spokesman for Cheltenham Borough Council said: “The proposed development involves the demolition of an unlisted but historic building in the conservation area. There’s a presumption against demolition unless the retention of the building is structurally and financially impractical. Every reasonable effort has been made to dispose of the building to someone prepared to retain and restore it.”
Whilst in use as commercial premises there was nothing to indicate its previous use as a brewery. The original structure had long been substantially altered beyond recognition. The building was knocked down in 2009 but two years later in July 2011 the site had not been developed, prompting complaints that it had become an ‘eyesore’. The rubble was cleared along with some fly-tipping that had taken place on the site.
A new building containing six two-bedroom apartments and ground floor offices now occupy the site of the old Anchor Brewery.
The building that housed the Anchor Vaults still stands and is currently occupied by the 'Paint-It-Yourself-Pottery Co’ (76 Winchcombe Street)
Landlords at the Anchor Inn / Vaults include:
Andover Arms, Painswick Terrace
Angle Stores, 65 Great Norwood Street, GL50 2BQ
Elizabeth Denly was the owner of Angle Stores in 1891. The premises was licensed as a beer house and had an annual rateable value of £21.5s.0d. The Angle Stores was free from brewery tie. The free house status was maintained in 1903 when Charles Forty was the owner. The annual rateable value had increased by just fifteen shillings to £22.0s.0d.
William Burge, occupier of Angle Stores in 1883, is also listed as a brewer. He had connections with the Somerset Brewery in Cheltenham.
Researching the history of Cheltenham pubs has taken me several decades, and occasionally my old notes – possibly written under the influence of alcohol – seem to have no known source of reference but the information contained is entirely credible. The following needs to be verified and checked for accuracy.
Assuming that my placing of the Angle Stores on the junction with 65 Great Norwood Street and Andover Road is correct, the name of the premises might be a reference to the old horse-drawn tramway that ran from Leckhampton to Queens Road which passed at an angle from Norwood Street (see the Railway Inn) into Andover Road. A single-storey wooden annexe of 65 Great Norwood Street is orientated at an angle that follows the line of the old tramway, and indeed Andover Road itself. Could this structure, which now houses Goose House Quilting (and previously Chantilly Dress Agency), be the old Angle Stores?
The Angle Stores closed in 1930.
Landlords at the Angle Stores include:
Apple Tree Inn, 55-57 Russell Street (corner of Russell Place), GL51 9HP
The terraced properties of 55-57 Russell Street, facing the top of Russell Place, abut the boundary wall of Wickes DIY store. Presumably the Apple Tree Inn was demolished some years ago to facilitate the construction of commercial premises.
Ron and Freda Betteridge from Staverton celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 8th February 2001. Ron also celebrated his 80th Birthday on the same day. Ron and Freda met at the Apple Tree Inn in Russell Place where he served behind the bar. Ron was also a full-back for Cheltenham Town FC for two seasons during the early 1950’s before transferring to Evesham United.
Landlords at the Apple Tree include:
Apres Café Bar and Eatery, Unit 9, The Brewery, Henrietta Street GL50 4FA
A review in March 2010 by Tanya Gledhill described Apres as ‘easily the smartest venue in Cheltenham’s Brewery complex, full of yummy mummies during the day and suits at 6 pm before it gives way to a younger crowd – complete with DJ’s some nights – in the evenings. There are cosy red leather booths, low lighting, wood-burning stoves and a funky ski-lodge feel. The chaps who dreamed up the concept have deliberately blurred the boundaries between drinking and eating spaces, which makes for a pleasantly relaxed feel. It means punters are equally at home whether they’re eating breakfast, drinking coffee, putting themselves the wrong size of a four-pint pitcher of beer or tucking into a pizza cooked in one of the wood-fired ovens.
Town & Country Inns, owners of Apres, went into administration in November 2016 although the company was bought by new owners shortly after. Apres in Cheltenham closed apparently without warning. A spokesman for The Brewery said, “We apologise to any customers wishing to eat and drink at Apres for any inconvenience, we’re currently liaising with management to ascertain the reasons surrounding their closure.” The opening of the nearby Brewhouse and Kitchen in the summer of 2016 may have poached trade from Apres Bar and Eatery. A worker at Brewhouse and Kitchen said. “In the last few months, I heard they weren’t doing that well.”
AquaVitae, 10 Ormond Place, Regent Street GL50 1JD
Assembly Rooms Wine Vaults, 3 Tavistock Place, Rodney Road (corner of High Street), GL50 1HX
Rowe’s Illustrated Cheltenham Guide of 1850 describes the Assembly Rooms thus: … Our next business is to look in at the Assembly Rooms, whose portico crosses the pavement, and forms a conspicuous ornament in the street view. This establishment comprises a spacious and elegantly ornamented Ball Room, with refreshment, card, billiard, and club rooms, and the general business arrangements are made under the supervision of a body of seven gentlemen, entitled the ‘Committee of Public Amusements’. The building was erected in 1815-1816, and opened on the 29th July in the latter year, the total cost of erection being somewhere about £60,000. The large Ball Room is 87 feet by 40 feet, and 40 feet high. The upper suite of rooms is devoted to the meetings of the Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Club.”
The Assembly Rooms were opened by the Duke of Wellington in July 1816.
The licensing records of 1891 give detail that the Assembly Room Wine Vaults were owned by the Assembly Rooms Co. with Francis Holland Rea in occupation as landlord / proprietor. The annual rateable value was a substantial £56.0s.0d. The premise license was for an ale house which was free from brewery tie. Twelve years later in 1903 Francis Holland Rea was still in occupation of an unnamed premises and he was also listed as owner (Francis H. Rea & Co.) Still free from brewery tie, the establishment had inexplicably decreased in annual rateable value by almost £14 to £42.10s.0d. Of note is that it only had a six-day licence and closing time was at 10 pm, one hour earlier than the majority of Cheltenham public houses and hotels.
The Assembly Rooms were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century and Lloyds Bank was constructed on the site. It has been documented that the buildings were knocked down in 1900 – the grandiose Assembly Rooms only lasting 84 years. This begs the question what was the 1903 entry in the licensing returns relating to Francis Holland Rea referring to? Perhaps the decrease in rateable value can be attributed to the fact that the Assembly Rooms were being run down after closure of the public rooms, but perhaps the wine vaults remained trading. Or was the 1903 premise having no name an entirely separate business owned and established by Francis Holland Rea in the interim period?
Landlords / Proprietors at the Assembly Rooms include: