Issue 77 – October 2014
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For a long time now CAMRA has been drawing the nation's attention to the disastrous rate of closures in our community pub stock. The figure of ‘26 pubs closing each week’ – recently upgraded to 28 – is now embedded in the public's mind. Well, forget that number, the figure is now an incredible 31!
With the closure problem now at crisis level, CAMRA has put this at the very top of its immediate campaigning goals. It is essential to use all possible lobbying of Government to demand just one straightforward change to the planning law: simply the requirement for a planning application before any change of use or any demolition of a public house.
At present your local pub can be bulldozed flat without even telling the council. Or it can be converted into a supermarket – even a pet shop or an estate agents' office – without anyone being able to so much as question the idea. Frequently such closures happen without even the customers getting advance warning – intentionally of course, to reduce the likelihood of any protest groups being set up.
This life-threatening blood loss to our body of pubs has to be stopped, please visit the website at www.pubsmatter.org.uk and here with only a few keystrokes you can:
At the time of writing about 60 MPs have backed the Early Day Motion:
“That this House believes that permitted development rights are leaving pubs in England vulnerable to demolition or conversion to a range of retail uses without planning permission; further believes, in light of evidence from the Campaign for Real Ale, that two pubs a week are converted to supermarkets, and that these planning loopholes are contributing to the loss of valued community amenities; is concerned that local people are being denied a say in the future of their neighbourhoods; and so urges the Government to bring forward amendments to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 so that any demolition or change of use involving the loss of a pub would require planning permission.”
But currently that list does not include any from the Southern Hampshire CAMRA branch area. Of the councils in our area only Southampton City has signed up so far.
If just the readers of this Hop Press were all to contact their MPs they could hardly fail to notice many hundreds of letters each in their in-boxes! Go to the website now – here it is again: www.pubsmatter.org.uk
It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised that Timothy Taylors West Yorkshire Brewery was this year's winner of CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britain award at the Great British Beer Festival in August. Their 4% abv bitter, Boltmaker, was given the gold accolade. The tawny bitter is described as combining hops, fruit and a nutty malt and with a lingering bitterness that grows through the aftertaste. The recipe dates from the 1930s when it was simply their Best Bitter but it acquired its new name in 2012 from the landlord of the now eponymous Keighley pub, the Boltmakers’ Arms, as part of a rebranding competition.
Silver and bronze runners up were Oakham’s Citra, a golden ale, and Salopian’s Darwin’s Origin, a best bitter.
Locally the Cheriton Flowerpots Brewery had success in this annual beer rating show, their Flowerpots Bitter took the joint bronze award (with Wandsworth’s Sambrooks Wandle Ale) in the bitter category.
For the full results of all the many beer categories go to: www.gbbf.org.uk/news
On September 16th the Southampton City Council finally passed its controversial ‘Late Night Levy’ legislation. This imposes a tax on all licensed premises with licences that extend beyond midnight. The proceeds of the tax will be used, partly by the Council and partly by the police, to provide services such as ‘taxi marshals,’ ‘street pastors’ and an ‘in case of emergency (ICE) bus’ to help revellers survive the lively city night-life scene.
The bylaw will apply to the whole of the city’s licensed area and 30% will be used by the Council and 70% by the police (note that the national legislation that permits such local levies specifically prevents any of the income being used for purposes other than supporting the night-time economy), it will come into force on April 1st next year with a review in 2017 after two years experience.
The tax will be graduated and is based on the rateable value of the business; it will range from a minimum of £299 to a top rate of £4400. Southampton is the seventh British city to bring in a levy, other boroughs include such diverse places as the not so surprising Newcastle and Nottingham with the slightly more surprising Islington and the City of London and the truly unexpected Chelmsford and Cheltenham! Both Weymouth and Milton Keynes have considered a levy but have decided against.
One reaction already is that we understand none of the city’s Wetherspoon pubs will trade after midnight, thus avoiding the levy and this is likely to be the position taken by many community pubs and clubs (the levy applies to clubs as well as licensed houses) outside of the central ‘strips.’
Finally to end on an upbeat note we record that the second quarter of 2014 finally showed a reversal in the depressing continuous decline of draught beer sales throughout the twenty-first century – a 2.6% increase was recorded, the best performance since before 2000. We trust that the Treasury will make the obvious connection between this statistic and their duty cuts.
The Tudor Rose, Burgate
We noted in the last Hop Press that an application had been made to use the listed former Tudor Rose at Burgate as a day nursery. Permission has now been granted.
Following spates of pub conversions to convenience stores or housing, the Burgate example may show that we now have the emergence of a new trend. Marston's sold the Ship Inn, Wales Street, Winchester to Hampshire nursery firm Yellow Dot in April. The pub closed in May and permission has now been granted to open a nursery for up to 70 children. It is expected to open early next year, following £300,000 worth of building work. The licensees from the Ship have moved to the Chamberlayne Arms in Eastleigh (another Marston house).
Twenty-one homes are to be built on the site of the New Queens Head in Stanmore. The pub was demolished late last year, having been bought by the city council.
Fortunately other pubs in the city are looking to expand their facilities for the benefit of their customers. The Mucky Duck (one time the White Swan and the ‘Winchester Brewery Tap’) in Hyde Street has applied for a garden bar servery while the Golden Lion on Morn Hill on the outskirts of the city has been granted permission to add an orangery.
Also expanding is the empire of Black Boy owner David Nicholson. The ten room Black Hole bed and breakfast suite has opened in the group of buildings to the north of the pub. With the Black Rat restaurant on the corner opposite and the Black Bottle wine bar a little further down does this complete David's ‘Black ops?’ There's still an obvious name available if he wants to branch out into undertaking…
In Southgate Street,the Green Man, which has recently had some external building refurbishment, is looking to expand its trade for wedding parties by catering for customers who are looking for themed events for smaller-sized parties.
Pat Bartlett, the former landlady of the famous Flowerpots Inn who arrived there in 1968 when it was still a Strongs pub, has died at the considerable age of 95; we offer our sincerest condolences to Jo, Paul and all at the Flowerpots. An appreciation of Pat's life appears on page 15.
The Vestry, Southampton
Also looking to expand its wedding trade is the Vestry in Southampton. In an ironic twist, the former church in Commercial Road is now licensed to hold weddings. The venue last held a wedding in the 1970's but Dave Gardiner and Vicky Baker became the first couple to be married there under the new licence this August.
In Bevois Valley we are very pleased to report that the ever-popular Guide Dog in Earls Road was voted as the branch's ‘Pub of the Year’ (and not for the first time!); it subsequently went on to come third in the whole Wessex region of this national competition.
A change of image has occurred at a city centre venue. The former Flares and Revival nightclub in Above Bar is now the Spitfire pub. It has a good range of real ales and is also looking to build a strong food trade. A bit of a trek though for the fans of newly promoted Eastleigh…
An even bigger change will be taking place at the Grade I listed Wool House in Town Quay. Permission has been granted to use the building as a brew house, bar and restaurant. It will be run by the team from the nearby Platform Tavern, which will continue to trade. They had hoped to be trading by now but that developers' nightmare, the discovery of old asbestos needing disposal has added months to the schedule. All is now removed and opening is hoped to be before Christmas.
The licensees of two city pubs have been up before the licensing committee in recent weeks. Police successfully applied to close down the Dorchester in Onslow Road after a series of incidents...
…Meanwhile, also under threat for similar reasons is the Griffin in Anglesey Road, Shirley, although it is still trading pending an appeal.
The view surrounding the Englishman could be changing as an application has been made to build a pair of two storey houses at the rear of the pub in English Road. This should not disrupt trade at the pub however.
There is good news in Woolston where the Swan is open again and is being run by Jacqui Gordon and Richard Searles from the Yacht Tavern in Sea Road. There is also a change at the Bridge, where Mike Baillon and his partner Jackie have taken over this Marston's outlet.
At the Obelisk, in Obelisk Road are there possibilities of a pub brewery being developed? A private company with the name Mad Dog Brewery was registered at the Obelisk's address earlier in the year although no physical signs have been seen as yet.
The Bittern, Southampton
The former Percy Arms in Bitterne is now home to a pharmacy. The battle to save the Bittern pub continues. After city planners turned down an application to build a fast food restaurant and takeaway on the site, McDonald's have now lodged an appeal against the decision. Meanwhile the pub continues to thrive, with more than £1,500 raised for the chemotherapy ward at Southampton General Hospital at a recent family fun day.
The city council is hoping to reduce the threat to pubs by introducing an Article 4 Direction that ensures that planning permission has to be obtained for a change of use. Unfortunately the new regulations won't come into force until next year.
More brewery news than pub news, but on July 22nd the Rusty Prop Brewing Company was incorporated at a private house address in Scott Road, Eastleigh, with directors Stephen Richardson and Simon Rose. It is believed that they are negotiating for some agricultural buildings “to the north of Eastleigh” to set up the actual brewing operation; we believe this is at Highbridge Farm (the site of the Eastleigh Steam Rally) but we should know more by the next issue.
Alice Lisle pub manager Hannah Jezard has been rewarded for her cellar skills by being awarded a Master Cellarman award by owners Chiswick based Fuller's. In an article to celebrate the award it states that Hannah, “… always makes sure the pub offers three cask ales on tap and beers from Hampshire Breweries.” But, publicity pictures and the pub's own web site only show Fuller's beers on the handpumps.
The Fox & Hounds in Lyndhurst is also a Fuller's pub. It reopened during the summer after substantial refurbishment. The publicity for the reopening and the pub's web site makes a great feature of the local produce on offer. Again this only seems to refer to the food rather than the beers. It's strange how a company can see localism so important for one part of its business but not so for the cask beer. Of course many of the beers on sale in local Fuller's pubs carry the Gales logo. Fuller's took over the Horndean brewery and its hundred plus pubs in 2005 and the beers are now brewed in Chiswick, London.
Perhaps to compete with its near neighbour, the Stag has successfully applied for planning approval for a range of additional external signage and lighting. Perhaps this competition is the reason for the appearance of what the parish council has described as excessive use of advertising A-boards on the High Street by both the Stag and the Fox and Hounds.
The Fleur-De-Lys at Pilley is closed again. The landlord of the nearby Red Lion, Boldre took on a temporary three month lease in July but cancelled it after a month when he discovered that owners Enterprise Inns had sold the larger of the pub's car parks to the adjacent caravan park.
As detailed elsewhere in this edition, we are sad to report that the well known landlady of the Borough Arms, Glynis Miller died in August. She had worked as head cook in many local pubs before moving to the Borough in 2003 with her husband Glenn, to whom we send our condolences.
The Monkey House, Lymington
The Monkey House on the edge of the town has now lost its temporary “Haven” and is being run by Iain Robertson, who was previously at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. It offers a beer from Bowland Brewery and other real ales from local breweries.
The Haven has returned to its Yacht Haven home after extensive refurbishment. Owner Rob Smith has teamed up for the venture with celebrity Chris Evans, who was present at the reopening.
We mentioned in the last Hop Press that the owners of Fine Food 4 Sail had, after a four year planning battle, finally been granted permission to operate as a bar, restaurant and café. In August the venue applied to extend its opening hours but it was withdrawn after many objections were voiced. A revised application may be submitted in the future.
The Wetherspoon's pub, the Six Bells, in the centre of town suddenly closed without warning at the beginning of September. There was much speculation in the town as to the cause which we now understand was a sudden viral infection striking at almost all of the staff. Happily all are now well and the pub is open again.
Staying by the water, the Marine Café Bar and Restaurant reopened in June after it was hit by the storms in February. Customers who were enjoying a Valentine's Day meal had to evacuate the premises after windows were broken by stones and flood water entered the premises.
Moving inland, the Royal Oak at Downton reopened during the summer under the ownership of Donal and Eileen Kilcommons. The emphasis is on the food trade with local produce to the fore.
New plans for housing on the site of the Oak and Yaffle in Ashley, New Milton, have been submitted after the original plans were rejected as cramped and not fitting in with the surrounding area. The now demolished pub opened in 1964 as the Woodpecker. It was built by Brickwoods Brewery at a cost then of £24,000.
Many pubs erect marquees in their gardens to give them more space for customers, especially for the summer months. The Three Tuns in Bransgore had faced problems with their marquee after a number of neighbours objected to the planning application to retain the 150 capacity facility. Despite the objections about noise, permission was granted.
Permission for a similar marquee facility at the Foresters Arms in Brockenhurst has recently been submitted.
The long saga of the site of the fire-ravaged Red Lion in Totton is now complete as the phœnix of the McDonald's on the site is now open.
The Anchor, Eling
Local campaigners have won an important battle to prevent a similar fate befalling the Anchor at Eling. It is now an “asset of community value”. It means that if the owner decides to sell the pub in the future the council will have to advise community groups, who then can make a bid to purchase the pub.
Building work should soon start in the former garden area of the Croft in Hythe. Only one of the nine homes will now come under the “affordable” label. The pub itself is now a Tesco Express.
With many pubs struggling to attract customers, making sure passers by know that the pub is there is important. Owners of the White Hart at Cadnam applied for permission to erect a sign on a roundabout near the pub. The New Forest National Park Authority refused permission stating: “…the proposed sign would not be essential for directional purposes (having regard to the prominence of the site and the existing signage)”.
There will need to be change to pub signage in Romsey as the Tavern will be returning to one of its many previous incarnations, the Phœnix, when it reopens in late-September/October after being closed for around six months. Following a much needed £210,000 refurbishment it will be run by Carol Rickman and her business partner Liz Surplice. Since 2002 Carol had run the Malthouse at Timsbury with her husband Martin, but they are giving up that pub to concentrate on the Phœnix and the other two Romsey pubs they run, the Sun Inn and the Hunters .
The Tudor Rose, Romsey
Customers of the Tudor Rose have gathered 1,000 signatures against an expansion plan from neighbouring department store Bradbeers. The move would involve demolishing the former Stares Butchery and Oxfam bookshop and replacing them with a large glass fronted building that Tudor Rose landlady Lisa Moore claims will result in a loss of sunlight for the pub's popular outdoor courtyard area. Readers may remember that the current store includes the listed building that was once the Dolphin Hotel, which was acquired by Bradbeers around the turn of the century.
As predicted in the last Hop Press, the Rockingham Arms reopened as part of the Upham Pub Group in the spring after being closed for more than a year. As well as a range of Upham beers and food, which is mainly locally sourced, the pub is offering its customers a new service. Hampers containing pub-baked bread and a host of local produce are available to take away.
We mentioned in the last Hop Press that the Crown at King's Somborne had been badly damaged by the winter floods. We are pleased to report that it reopened at the end of May and offers a range of five real ales.
There are new licensees at the Mill Arms, Dunbridge. Richard Solomans and his partner Kay Taylor took on the lease of the 18th century pub in June.
There was also a June start for the new licensees of the Fox Inn, Bramdean. It is the first venture in the pub trade for Pete Boxall and his wife Amanda.
The Black Horse, Colden Common
We have to sadly report that the former licensee of the Black Horse, Colden Common, Mick King, died during the summer and the pub has closed. In 2000 an application was made to demolish the pub and build two houses on the site but it was later withdrawn.
The application to build 26 retirement flats on the site of the Harrier, Hamble has been approved by local planners. This was despite claims that business at the pub had improved. It was still trading at the time of writing.
Fortunately the White Swan at Mansbridge is continuing to trade after it reopened in June following extensive refurbishment that was required after the winter floods.
We started this edition of Pub News with reports of pubs being converted to nurseries. This is just many of the conversions that have led to the loss of many pubs in our area and elsewhere. We recently read of a new “pub”, the Dog and Duck, which is opening in the Hawthorne Court Nursing Home, Sarisbury Green. It will be alcohol free and is part of the home's scheme to become more dementia friendly and allow residents to reminisce in a familiar environment. We wonder if when the residents of the Sunrise Care Home in Southampton reminisce they think to themselves, “I remember when this used to be a pub.” (The home is built on the site of the Bassett Hotel. Before it became more food orientated it was the original home of the Concorde Club and hosted such acts as Manfred Mann.)
The answer is Sharp's of Cornwall, who in 2011 were purchased by Molson Coors, the Canadian/US based multinational brewing giant. The brewery was purchased to enable Molson Coors to build up a share of the expanding UK cask beer market. All Doom Bar is still brewed at the Sharp's Brewery.
A high proportion of the discerning readers of this publication, when they walk into a pub and are confronted with a large range of beers on the handpumps, are likely to plump for a new beer that they haven't tried before in preference to a more ubiquitous product such as the aforementioned Doom Bar. Many other drinkers (probably the majority) are more likely to go for a beer that they recognise or have tried before. This has led to a change in the way that new beers are named by certain big brewers.
Going back to the 1960's the beer sold in most pubs in England was brewed by a local brewery, who also owned the pub, and the beers would simply be mild, bitter, best bitter, etc. With the development of national brands and national advertising campaigns this changed. One quirk during the 70's and 80's was Whitbread Trophy. Although this beer was advertised on a national basis the beer that was served would come from one of the many breweries that Whitbread took over in the 60's and 70's, all brewed to very different recipes.
The main proponent of building up a following based on beer brands rather than brewery names is Greene King. Greene King IPA has been joined by IPA Gold and IPA Reserve. Similarly Old Speckled Hen (which started off as a beer from Morland before it was bought out by Greene King) has a number of offshoots. Old Golden Hen is commonly seen in our local pubs and there are also the draft seasonal Old Nutty Hen and the bottled Old Crafty Hen. There is also a stronger version of Abbot Ale, Abbot Reserve, which is available on draft during the winter.
Wells Brewery have been exploiting the Bombardier brand name with what are referred to as “sister beers” on the company's web site. Bombardier Burning Gold and Bombardier Satanic Mills (a porter) are both named after phrases from William Blake's Jerusalem. You will notice that all the base brands mentioned above have been subject to mass market advertising campaigns. Thus it is easier to get drinkers to purchase these new products on the back of the recognition of the base brands rather than having to spend vast sums on advertising a new name.
There are a few lower profile examples that readers might recognise. Hop Back Winter Lightning still makes an occasional appearance while Dark Star has Summer and Winter versions of their seasonal Meltdown beer.
However, it is the big brewers with big advertising budgets who are the main exponents of exploiting beer brands rather than brewery names. Don't be surprised if in the future you see Doom Bar Special on a local bar rather than Sharp's current Special or Cornish Coaster.
As above, I shall be using OS grid references in this description, and I would not like to think of anyone attempting this walk without a copy of OS Explorer Map OL22 New Forest, and a reasonable idea of how to use it. Many of the paths in the New Forest are vague and ill-defined, and even the best navigators get confused sometimes; having a map provides an extra layer of helpful information. Note that there is a very straightforward route between the pubs on graveled forest roads which provides an excellent plan B safety route should one be required.
Outward Walk to High Corner:
The Royal Oak, Fritham
On leaving the Royal Oak, turn right and immediately fork left along a narrow road with scattered housing on the left and a forest green on the right. The road continues to curve left, soon going downhill past Fritham Free Church United (sic). At the road end continue ahead on the gravel track. Soon ignore a footpath on the left, and continue past scattered houses on the left. When the track bends left to the houses continue straight ahead across a large grassy forest lawn with a garden fence on your left. Go to the footbridge (grid ref.233135) ahead and cross the stream. This is Dockens Water; its source is in Fritham settlement and it flows in a WSW then SW direction to join the River Avon north of Ringwood.
Turn right, and walk by the stream across the forest lawn into the wood ahead. Keep the stream about 20-40 yards away on your right. Your route stays close to this stream for the next 2 miles, keep reasonably close, but do not re-cross it. Cross a very small stream flowing down from a forest lawn up to your left, then cross a small ditch, and veer left to join a small path by ‘gate 75.’ The path is very variable; sometimes it is just a grassy ride. But if you keep Dockens Water on your right, any inclosure fences on your left and do not climb significantly, then the navigation is simple.
After ‘gate 74’ (grid ref.232130) your path veers away from South Bentley Inclosure fence. Continue along the grassy ride, and when it ends in a large clearing, continue ahead gently uphill. Note that with that short climb the character of the path has changed; it is drier, and there is now a belt of attractive semi-open woodland and bracken between you and the stream, and you are looking over the trees on the right, rather than through them. The grassy path is easy to follow and there are glimpses of further woodland away on the right (Freeworms Hill, grid ref.225129).
Soon the path goes downhill and Dockens Water comes back into view. Walk towards it but do not cross it; just continue walking with the water on your right. Soon you will cross patches of gravel that were washed down during last winter's heavy rain. After the gravel you will reach the corner of Holly Hatch Inclosure (grid ref.223124). Continue between the fence and the stream to emerge onto a grassy lawn with a footbridge over the stream. Don't cross the stream, simply follow the fence on a small path that eventually reaches a forest road. Follow the road to Holly Hatch Cottage (grid ref.213119).
Holly Hatch Cottage must be one of the most isolated forester's cottages in the New Forest. It seems surprising to me that its few windows on the north side are so small, given the extensive views they have of Ragged Boys Hill. Continue on the forest road; where it bends left continue straight ahead on a small grassy ride with the old inclosure bank on your left. When you reach a gravel track, turn left along it, past the corner of Broomy Inclosure (grid ref.207117). Walk away from the stream, and after a short climb turn right at the first forest road, through the gate into the inclosure.
The High Corner Inn, Linwood
The remainder of the outward walk is straightforward, easy and all on forest roads. Walk all the way through Broomy Inclosure to its western end. Go through the gate and continue for about 200 yards to a forest road junction (cycle point 41) (grid ref.195111). Turn left here and climb gently with fields of Linwood settlement on the right and Nices Hill on the left. Soon after you enter woodland again you will see the High Corner Inn ahead (grid ref. 197107).
Return Walk to Fritham:
On leaving the pub turn left along the forest road; as soon as you leave the woods turn right onto a small path along the edge of the wood. The path climbs gently to the broad ridge that joins Nices Hill to High Corner Wood. Continue through the woods, soon to reach a footbridge (grid ref. 200109) over a small stream. Immediately after the bridge turn left aiming for a small gate in the inclosure fence. Follow the path curving right to meet a forest road. Turn right on the forest road, then immediately left onto a small grassy ride. This undulating ride takes you through very pleasant forest in the middle of Broomy Inclosure. Towards its end the ride gets a little rougher and there are a couple of fallen trees to climb over, but no real problems and the ride is easy to follow. Suddenly the ride ends with a simple wire fence barring your exit onto a good path.
Cross the fence and turn left downhill on the small track, soon to meet a forest road. You should realize that you went along this road earlier (grid ref. 207116). Here turn right gently uphill along the forest road. Stay on this road for about a 1/3 of a mile until you reach a crossing of forest roads (grid ref. 213116), turn left and walk gently downhill into the open. Bend right on the forest road to reach Holly Hatch Cottage again.
After the cottage retrace a part of the outward route, now with Dockens Water on your left and the inclosure fence on your right, until you reach the forest lawn with the next footbridge (grid ref. 221124). Turn left to go over the footbridge onto the causeway beyond. Follow the well graded path uphill towards the corner of Sloden Inclosure. Note Rakes Brakes Bottom on the right as you climb, definitely one of the most extensive marshes in the northern part of the New Forest. Eventually the path levels out onto the western end of Fritham Plain. Here turn right onto the forest road (grid ref. 218131). An easy walk of just over a mile will get you back to Fritham and the Royal Oak.
Alternative Finish for the Adventurous
From the footbridge below Rakes Brakes Bottom there is an alternative more direct but trickier route back to Fritham. Instead of crossing the footbridge continue retracing the outward route between the stream and the fence to Holly Hatch Inclosure corner (grid ref. 223124). Then go north-east to cross Dockens Water (ford, no bridge) to find the path up the E side of Freeworms Hill, and then across Fritham Plain. Note that the track on the OS map shown fording the stream does not really exist now. I am not recommending nor describing this route, I simply mention it for the experienced walkers amongst you. I am not sure where the best place to cross the stream is, and even if I did, it would probably be difficult to describe. Moreover, please make sure that you don't cross the stream until you are well east of Rakes Brakes Bottom.
There is a safe and easy route between the two pubs which is entirely on gravelled forest roads. I mention it for people with pushchairs, and possible emergency situations including bad weather. Note that parts of this safety route are used in the walk described above. The route is: Royal Oak (grid ref. 232141), Sloden Inclosure Corner (grid ref. 217131), Holly Hatch Cottage (grid refr. 213119), forest road crossing (grid ref. 213116),Broomy Inclosure (west end) (grid ref. 197113), forest road junction (grid ref. 195111), High Corner Inn (grid ref. 197107).
Public Transport: There is no public transport to either of the two pubs. The High Corner Inn has a large car park, and there are free public car parks on the track to Fritham Plain just beyond the Royal Oak.
Maps: The OS Explorer Map OL22 New Forest is very important for this walk.
Seasons: A walk for most seasons, but the stretches along by Dockens Water can get very wet and marshy after heavy rain.
Distances: From Fritham to High Corner is about 4 miles, so each part of the walk will take 1½ - 2 hours.
The popular and respected landlady of the Good Beer Guide listed Borough Arms in Lymington, Glynis Miller, passed away aged 60, on August 12th after a three year battle with lymphoma.
Glynis was renowned for her legendary Sunday lunches and her love of fancy dress, she was well loved and respected by loyal customers,young and old alike. Always up for friendly banter but well known for her strict standards, which were enforced with a good natured telling off when necessary.
A Celebration of her Life was held at Southampton Crematorium, packed with friends, family and customers and the touching service was enhanced by the placing of individual roses onto the coffin by family members.
Glynis is survived by husband Glenn, the continuing landlord of the Borough Arms, son James who with his wife run their own pub in East Farleigh, Kent, and daughter Kate who ably helps father Glenn in addition to running her own domestic cleaning business.
Glynis will be sorely missed but her example as a true landlady will live on at the traditionally run Borough Arms.
Donations in Glynis' memory can be made to the Lymphoma Research Trust through the funeral directors, Richard Steel and Partners, Alderman House, 12-14 City Road, Winchester SO23 8SD or made online at www.rsponline.co.uk
The end of the summer brought great sadness to Cheriton when, on August 29th, Pat Bartlett the one-time landlady of the Flowerpots Inn died, just one day short of her ninety-fifth birthday.
Early in 1968, Patricia Mary Bartlett and her husband John signed an agreement with Romsey's Strongs Brewery to become licensees of an obscure country pub – the Flowerpots Inn on the outskirts of Cheriton. Only a year or so later in 1969, Strongs sold out to Whitbread (one of the notorious ‘big six’ national brewery combines that then controlled almost all of Britain's pubs).
Pat and John continued to run the pub under Whitbread to such success that it appeared, in 1975, in only the second ever edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide – a position it has justly held ever since.
In 1982 John died but Pat continued to run the Flowerpots with the help of her daughter Joanna, her partner Paul and other family members until in 1989 Whitbread sprang a surprise by deciding to sell her home and business from under her – seemingly they had concluded that there no future to be had in country pubs. But Pat, Jo and Paul thought otherwise and after great efforts gathered the capital to make a successful bid for the pub.
Almost at once the pub started to grow: an extension to the bar was added and then in 1993 the brewery came into being to ensure that the Flowerpots became not just a splendid pub but an institution known far and wide.
In the twenty years or more since buying the pub, Pat was still to be found behind the bar helping out in busy times and the brewery made several special brews in her honour such as Bartlett's XL in 2008 to mark the 40 years since she first came to the Flowerpots.
The memorial service for Pat was at Cheriton's St. Michael and All Angels church at noon on Monday September 22nd followed by a wake at the Inn.
Donations in memory of Pat may be made to the British Heart Foundation or Cancer Research UK through the online charity: www.patricia.bartlett.muchloved.com
Emerging from a small brewery plant in the garage of his home near Totton and operated on a part-time basis, Kevin Robinson has taken the plunge to fulfil a project he had a greater fear of regretting for not trying rather than being put off by risk of failure.
New brewing plant from Burton on Trent has been installed into a newly leased starter unit at Gordleton Industrial Estate, just a few yards from the Wheel Inn at Pennington, together with bottling equipment and a visitor facility.
Fed up with tired, standard ale offerings in unadventurous and restrictive tied pubs, the Vibrant Forest ales championed by Kevin are intentionally unusual in concept, taste and presentation. Not so much attacking the palate as the Brew Dog extremes do but nevertheless startling in creativity and presentation, crafted to achieve an impact, true to the honesty of real ale but pulling down the barricades of convention. In one word – RadicAle.
A brew length that has plenty of capacity for expansion is being utilised gradually as demand for the ales is encouraged in a local area which is fortunately blessed with an increasing number of inquisitive outlets becoming free of pubco restraints and ties. Kevin's typical one-man-band, jack-of-all-trades approach is hard graft but essential until the regular turnover is sufficiently established to warrant additional staff. Partner Leanne is assisting where possible and a network of willing, encouraging advisors and friends have been aiding concept marketing and creating point of sale material.
CAMRA awards, five in number, have already been awarded to Vibrant Forest for their Wheatwave, Flying Saucer and Black Forest cask ales and now the proportion of cask to bottled production has reversed from 10%/90% to 90%/10%, the opportunities for future recognition have been greatly enhanced.
Most widely available ales are Nova Foresta, a 3.8% refreshing, amber session bitter and Flying Saucer, a 4.3% golden, hoppy ale. The more unusual are Wheatwave, a 4.8% wheat beer, and yes, it is supposed to be cloudy and Black Forest, a 4.9% piquant porter. Look out also for Pale Ale, India Black Ale, Belgian Saison and Imperial Russian Stout styles. The stronger ales will be more likely found in bottles – bottle-conditioned – and are available from the visitor centre and other selected outlets.
As boundaries are increasingly pushed by initial acceptance of the Flying Saucer, a new song may soon be sung – ‘let me taste what beer is like on Jupiter and Mars.’ How the experimentation will affect future liquid offerings from Pluto and Uranus remains to be seen.
Vibrant Forest may be found at www.vibrantforest.co.uk and on Facebook and Twitter.
Photos copyright Peter Simpson/South Hants CAMRA (www.shantscamra.org.uk)
Since 1878 markings have been required by law under the UK's various Weights and Measures Acts to demonstrate that the glass is guaranteed to hold the designated volume of beer, for example most typically a pint to the brim (568ml). Originally glasses (and pewter pots and china mugs) were physically tested at Customs and Excise test stations and if OK engraved with the royal crown, the royal cypher (VR, GR, ER etc) and a number, out of some 2000, indicating the location of the testing station – Hampshire's were, for example, 447, 460, 511, 548, 559, 581, 595, 650-3, 845, 863-4, 879-80, 896, 979, 1096-7, 1202-3, 1323, 1389, 1413, 1509-12, 1596-7 and 1630-4! The full listing can be found at: http://abeerglasscollector.com/stampnumbers.html.
Of course in more recent times every single receptacle was not measured, sampling procedures allowed manufactures' batches to be accepted. Even so don't think that all this bureaucracy ensures you will get 568ml of beer since pint glasses are allowed an asymmetric tolerance of -0 to +34ml which leads most manufacturers to actually make their offerings a percent or so larger than an exact pint.
Shortly after the start of this century (2006) the crown stamp system was superseded by the EU wide CE certification system. This standardised marking has several parts: the letters CE, which must be in exactly the approved font, stand for ‘conformitéeuropéenne’ and indicates that the ‘device’ (yes, your beer glass...!) satisfies all the technical aspects of a volumetric measuring device, for that is what it is deemed to be. The boxed M emphasises this, for the M is only to be used on measuring equipment. The two digit number indicates the year of manufacture – i.e. 2006 in the sample shown
The final part is a number, or letters and a number (here shown as XXXX) which identifies, in essence, the manufacturer. It actually is a number allocated to an approved organisation that can verify that the ‘measuring instrument’ satisfies all technical requirements… In practice this lawyer-like task has been privatised down to the glass manufacturers themselves as self-certification.
Originally the stamp had to be placed on the side of the glass, near to any mark indicating size (such as ‘PINT’ which was often incorporated into the crown stamp) but now the law allows the stamp to be placed anywhere. This has resulted in manufacturers now often placing it on base of the glass. This is especially useful to them if they are producing a decorated or branded glass but it may lead unobservant drinkers to cry ‘foul!’ over-hastily.
The pint measure is only allowed for draught beer or cider (specifically not perry, shandy or soft drinks – possibly the most ill-observed law in the land) to get onto rules for other drinks would need more pages than this issue has, cheers.
QUETZALCOATL (printable pdf version here 38KB download)
Alphabetical jigsaw. Solve the clues and fit the answers in where they will go.
Prizes to the first two correct entries drawn. Closing date: 31st December 2014.
The Editor, Hop Press, 1 Surbiton Road, Eastleigh, Hants. SO50 4HY
Issue 76 (April 2014) Solution & Winners
A pretty good entry of 23 for this edition. Two unfortunately had the same error – 1 down as APPETITE, but as it was an anagram we won't accept any excuses! The winners, drawn from the hat, are:
Hop Press Issue number 77. October 2014
Editor: Pat O'Neill
© CAMRA Ltd. 2014
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