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Hop Presshops Hop Press Issue 27 front cover

Issue 27 – June 1988

 

A rough scan & OCR of the original leaving out graphics, adverts & some sections such as the Crossword

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Contents


Editorial Hop Press index

At a recent CAMRA branch meeting, those present were stunned when it was announced that their meeting place was to be taken over by one of the big brewers.

The pub in question was the Bay Tree, New Road, Southampton, the branch's first ever meeting place back in 1974. It had simply fallen victim to yet another cosy, behind the scenes deal between two brewers. As members were contentedly supping Gale's beers, it was revealed that the Bay Tree had been exchanged for a Bass house (where, nobody could say but not believed to be in this area). The change was due to take place in just a couple of weeks but the landlord had only been informed of the decision the night before – long after the deal had actually been agreed.

Of course the pub swap idea is not new, indeed, some areas previously almost devoid of independent brewers' houses have benefited from certain deals, But it would seem reasonable for the brewers to keep their licensees properly informed of impending changes in ownership, one thing which evidently did not happen in the case of the Bay Tree. Not to even mention the customers' feelings or wishes.

Let us hope that Bass has the foresight to retain the character of the houses it acquires through this deal with Gale's, and that in future licensees of pubs liable to change ownership are given adequate information about what is going on behind the scenes.

On a lighter note, you may have noticed that Hop Press has a new editor. Charlie Excell is taking a well earned rest from this publication, although his contributions will still be seen in print. Our thanks to Charlie for the work he has done in 'spreading the word' over the last five years.

Beer Money... Hop Press index

Rob Whatley

On Tuesday 3 May a cheque for the £830 which was raised at the 1987 Eastleigh Beer Festival was handed over to the Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Philip Spearey.

The money will go towards the Mayor's appeal. The charities to benefit are the local branches of Age Concern, the British Red Cross Society and the St John Ambulance.

The cheque was presented by members of the two organisations which combine to run the annual festival, the South Hants Branch of CAMRA and the Eastleigh and Chandler's Ford Round Table.

Over £6000 has been raised for local charities since the first festival in 1983. Another is being planned for mid-October this year, details of which we will publish in Hop Press nearer the time.

Wadworths Hop Press index

Derek Markell

Wadworth and Company of Devizes, have a widespread and well founded reputation for brewing quality beers. A reputation which began in 1875 when the old Northgate Brewery was purchased by Henry Alfred Wadworth, who, by any standards, was a most exceptional man. His taste for adventure seemingly knew no bounds: he apparently enjoyed hot air ballooning, and was the first man ever to cycle the 100 miles from London to Bath!

When he bought the brewery at the age of 22, Wadworth had already had six years of brewing experience, both as a pupil at Chandlers in London and as manager of a small brewery in Long Street, Devizes. He had just returned from a spell in Australia, although, judging by the general quality of today's antipodean beers, his stay has left little trace.

Known to his family as Harry, young Wadworth once confessed to his mother in a letter, "I know little about the business", and indeed his new brewery made a loss during its first year of trading. However, he learned the business quickly, and was making a profit within two years. The foundations of one of England's great breweries were now well and truly laid.

Wadworth's beers rapidly gained a reputation for quality, and this had a dramatic effect on the local market. At the time Devizes, like many other small towns, had a large number of very small breweries, many linked to single public houses. Not surprisingly, establishments such as Wild's, Humby's, The Star, Blencoe's and Tylee's either ceased trading or were absorbed by Wadworth. Brewery takeovers are apparently not such a new phenomenon!

By 1885 the business had outgrown its existing premises, and Wadworth himself designed and supervised the building of the new Northgate Brewery nearby, which is where the beers are still brewed today. From that time, Wadworth and his partner, brother-in-law and lifelong friend John Smith Bartholomew, led the company through a prosperous period, and it is notable that the recipes that they strove to perfect have changed hardly at all to this day. Their continuing popularity needs no emphasis.

Once established, the brewery had over 3000 private customers, most within 30 miles of Devizes. At the time six outriders were employed to make 30 – 40 calls a day collecting orders, With the advent of motor cars and buses this trade gradually decreased as people became able to travel into the towns to purchase their beer. Wadworth, however, always had an eye for the new market, and became one of the first suppliers to the Army Canteen Board, which later became the NAAFI.

In 1923 Bartholomew died and his son, John, succeeded him as managing director. Henry Wadworth himself was killed in a riding accident in 1929. John Bartholomew, now the company chairman, led a significant expansion which included the acquisition of Godwin's brewery in Swindon.

During World War II the Wadworth's trading area underwent a dramatic, although temporary, change. All breweries had to make supplying the armed forces a priority and also a fuel-saving 'zoning' system, whereby breweries only supplied pubs in their local areas, was introduced. Wadworth's houses around Bristol were served by George's (later to be taken over by Courage and now their only cask beer brewery), with a reciprocal agreement for the Devizes area.

After the war, as the country began to recover and Wadworth' s began to expand again. John Bartholomew died in 1952 and was succeeded by his son, John C. Bartholomew, the present company chairman. The advent of the motorway network made it economical to distribute further afield, and it is now possible to enjoy Wadworth's ales in Wales, the Midlands, London and the South West. Indeed, the brewery now has a number of houses in the South Hants area – the Guide Dog and the Park Inn, Southampton, the St. James' Tavern, Winchester, the Linden Tree, Bursledon, the new Cleveland Bay, Chandler's Ford and the Cottage, Butlocks Heath. The beers are also very widely available through the free trade, especially through a trading agreement with Whitbread.

Despite changing times the company has firmly maintained many of its traditions, and this is supported by its continuing use of wooden casks for about 50% of its real ale output, operating its own cooperage to handle any repairs needed, and its use to this day of horse drawn drays to carry out the local deliveries around Devizes.

Devizes Bitter, IPA, 6X and Old Timer have all been brewed at the imposing Northgate Brewery for some years now. In addition, in 1984, Wadworth's introduced a new premium ale, to honour the Wiltshire journalist and broadcaster A. G. Street, Named after the author's first published book, Farmers Glory is brewed with more hops than normal and uses crystal and roasted malts to give a darker colour and a fine distinctive taste. This beer has been well received, and is now available in many Wadworth's houses, including some in our own area. It is important to note that, like other Wadworth's products, Farmers Glory sells itself by its own high quality, without the need for expensive advertising of the type employed by the big national combines.

Wadworth's give us a fine example of how a long established and well managed brewery, using traditional methods and recipes, can still thrive and continue to produce outstanding ales. Over the last century the brewery has made steady and welcome progress; we wish Wadworth's every success in the next hundred years, and for many years after.

St. Denys and Bevois Valley Hop Press index

Dave Neale

The St. Denys and Bevois Valley area of Southampton is well known for its proliferation of pubs and, fortunately, many of these sell good beer. In both the variety of its hostelries and the wide choice of beers, this is an area virtually unsurpassed in the Southern Hampshire area yet it takes hardly more than twenty minutes to walk – or perhaps stagger – from one end of this part of the city to the other. No pub guide to Southampton would be complete without the inclusion of at least some of the pubs in this area. This article takes a stroll around some of the best pubs in St. Denys and Bevois Valley, all of which serve beers from the independent breweries. We are sure you will enjoy the walk, and perhaps try it for yourself.

Remember 'Nellies Nob', next to St. Denys station? Strange name for a pub, many said. Those with slightly longer memories will remember this pub as the South Western Arms (1), and may also be relieved to know that it has now reverted to this original name. This is not the only good news; the pub is now a free house, owned and run by Peter and Shelley Clements, who ran the Anchor, East Street, Southampton followed by the Hors4 and Groom at Alresford and are thus well known locally. Although the interior of the pub has changed little from the open-plan style of Nellie's Nob, the outside has been tidied up considerably, and the new sign is particularly notable. The range and quality of beers are much improved, with Adnams Best Bitter and Ringwood Fortyniner representing the independent breweries at the time of writing. We wish Peter and Shelley every success in their new venture.

A two minute walk Southwards, along Adelaide Road, brings us to the Junction Inn (2), another justifiably popular stopping place for locals and those using St. Denys station. The pub has recently been refurbished with the lounge bar considerably extended towards the rear. Those who are used to seeing the big brewers' typical 'refurbishment' will be pleased to hear that some of the independents do things a little differently! This particular bar alteration has been rightly greeted with much enthusiasm from regulars and visitors alike, and it is a great delight to report that the period character of the pub has been so carefully preserved. Our congratulations go to hosts Mike and Jocelyn Hendrickx and to Marstons, for giving us one of the few pub alterations that can be unreservedly described as an improvement. Excellent pints of Mercian Mild, Burton Bitter, Pedigree – and, unusually, Merrie Monk and Owd Rodger – are served on draught here.

It is now time to cross the 'horseshoe' bridge over the railway and walk through the industrial estate into Bevois Valley. Across the main road and up the Earls Road hill for a few yards, and we arrive at the Guide Dog (3). This pub, originally the Valley, was renamed when Wadworth's bought it from Whitbread, and is named to honour of a former landlady who raised much money for the Guide Dogs appeal. The small corner pub consists of a single comfortable lounge but with a dart board in one corner. The cask beers served are IPA, 6X and Farmers Glory.

Returning to Bevois Valley Road and turning right, we find the Crown and Sceptre (4) at the junction with Mount Pleasant Road. This pub is one of the 100 or so which have recently been sold by the Watneys Phoenix group to Gibbs Mew of Salisbury, and at the time of writing it still had Phoenix signs outside. Inside, little has changed as yet, there being a lively public bar and a quiet lounge, with a separate off sales area. The beer situation has, however, been transformed with Wiltshire Bitter, Salisbury Best Bitter and (for those who really do want to stagger home) Bishop's Tipple now available here.

Less than 200 yards brings us to the New Inn (5), which can best be described as a true beer drinker's pub with, some say, the best atmosphere in town. The pub consists of a single L-shaped bar with a darts area at one end, and even though the drinking space was doubled in size in 1983 it is still often very crowded. The New Inn's hospitality is enjoyed by students and locals alike and its popularity is well deserved, with hosts John and Mo Melville serving fine pints of Gale's XXXD, Dark Mild (replaced by 5X in winter), BBB and HSB. This pub has been in most editions of the Good Beer Guide, 1988 being no exception.

If time permits a visit, there is also the Bevois Castle (6), almost opposite the New Inn. This is a single U-shaped bar with a pool table at one end, Eldridge Pope Huntsman Ales are dispensed (using 'cask breathers'), Dorchester Bitter, IPA and Royal Oak being available.

CAMRA South Hants, the local branch, is taking part in the Campaign's national 'Independents Day', to promote the pubs and beers of the independent brewers, on Monday, July 4th. We shall be organising a walk around pubs in this area, starting at the South Western Arms at 8pm. Everyone is welcome.

INN-SIGHT
The White Swan, Winchester
Hop Press index

Charlie Excell

The White Swan, in Hyde Street, Winchester, has provided refreshment for the thirsty traveller for over three hundred years. Like so many old buildings it has been altered and extended during that time: in fact timbers have been found in the building that have come from the fourteenth century.

The White Swan has changed its role several times in its long existence: once it was a coaching inn, the horses being changed on what is now Hyde bowling green. With the passing of the coaching era it became a 'gin palace', the gin being stored in the cellars and brought upstairs in large copper jugs. During later Victorian times the White Swan was known as the Brewery Tap as it stands at the gate of the old Winchester Brewery, now the South coast depot of Marston's, who bought the Winchester Brewery in the nineteen twenties. Soon the name changed from the Brewery Tap to the White Swan Tap, and then to the present name.

Quite what went on in that part of Winchester a few centuries ago is uncertain, but the result is a vast network of cellars and passages under the Hyde area of the city. The cellar of the house next door to the pub goes out a long way under Hyde Street and if un-blocked would cross over to Jewry Street. It is rumoured that this cellar also joined with those of the nearby Crown and Cushion, now sadly demolished to make way for another empty office block; Thoughts of these ancient vaults add new dimensions to sitting in a traffic jam at the Jewry Street lights – fantasies of the road opening and depositing one amongst untapped Georgian ales!

The White Swan, like all old pubs, has its share of ghost stories. Supposedly, in 1840 a young lad was killed when he fell off the wall outside the pub, into a pig sty. The tragedy occurred as the hapless youth was observing the ancient pastime of 'Grunt Sprottling' . The youthful ghost is said to roam the premises to this day! After the unfortunate incident the 'sport' was banned.

The landlord of the 'Mucky Duck' as it is often affectionately known, is Ted Wetherall. Ted took over in 1986 from Mrs. Thompson, who had continued to run the pub for a while after the death of her husband Ken; they had been one of Marstons' longest serving couples having run the pub for over twenty years. The pub has a comprehensive list of landlords (look on the menu) going back to Thomas Tuckle, who took over in 1784.

Ted runs the White Swan as a good honest boozer, providing a warm welcome to one and all and dispensing Marston's ales in excellent condition – as is only fitting for the brewery tap! For those intending to eat, there is a good menu catering for all tastes, vegetarian dishes included, the portions are generous and the quality high. Live music is another attraction on occasional evenings.

In summary, the White Swan is a fine traditional pub, providing quality ales, good food and entertainment for all. If you are visiting, bring this Hop Press, it has a special discount voucher.

Winchester Beer Festival Hop Press index

Nigel Parsons

As you read this edition of Hop Press, many of you will be wondering what has happened to this year's WINCHESTER BEER FESTIVAL.

We can now assure you that the festival is DEFINITELY ON

Unfortunately there is still building work taking place in the Recreation Centre, so both the date and the venue have had to be moved, although making an advantage of this, this year's festival will be our first three-day event. The important facts and figures are as follows:

Dates:
Thursday 16 June 7-1 1pm
Friday 17 June 12-4pm & 7-11pm
Saturday 18 June 12-4pm & 7-11pm.

Venue: The Old Putting Green, Park Avenue, Winchester.

Prices:
Thurs eve.: £2.25
Fri lunch: free
Fri eve.: £2.50
Sat lunch: £1.75
Sat eve.: £2.50

Prices include souvenir glass and programme.

Tickets from:
D. J. Markell
17 Testwood Road
Freemantle
Southampton
SO1 3RQ

(send s.a.e. and cheque).

Tickets will also be available in many Winchester pubs, including the Bell, Green Man, Fulflood, King Alfred and the Exchange. Southampton residents will find tickets on sale at the Bay Tree, Masons Arms and New Inn.

Perhaps the most exciting change to the festival this year is the venue. Located behind the Recreation Centre, the Old Putting Green is accessible from Park Avenue. A giant marquee will be put up on the site, and this will house the entire festival and entertainment area. The festival site is surrounded and approached by concrete paths, so even if it does rain there will be no mud bath!

More beers than ever before will be available at this year's festival and the entertainment will be the best yet. The ever popular Real Ale and Thunder Band will appear on Thursday evening – the first time the festival has opened on this day. Friday night heralds the foot stomping and back slapping of the local 'Oom Pah Band' and the swinging sound of Solent City Jazz. Sax Machine is an eighteen piece all female band which met with great acclaim when it appeared on TV's 'Whistle Test'. Visitors to the Saturday evening session will be entertained by this unique line-up. There will also be entertainment on the Saturday afternoon session but at the time of going to press we have not got the details.

Otherwise the Winchester beer Festival remains unchanged. Naturally, real cider will be served as well, along with Belgian bottled beers, back by popular demand. Light snacks will be on sale at each session as always.

So it's business as usual, and we look forward to seeing you there.

One last thing: the festival is still only a short walk from Winchester station, so why not leave the car at home and have a really good time!

Pompey Royal Hop Press index

Rob Whatley

CAMRA's campaign to save Pompey Royal continues to prosper.

Sales are up over ten per cent on last year and the beer is appearing in more and more of our local pubs.

Perhaps the most significant news is that Pompey Royal is beginning to reappear in Whitbread's national promotional material.

Our sister branch in Portsmouth have naturally been leading the campaign and have arranged, in conjunction with Whitbread, to have beer mats and window stickers promoting the beer produced. These are starting to appear in local pubs.

The South Hants branch has also put a lot of work into the campaign principally by sending letters to all Whitbread tenants and publicising those pubs which sell the beer.

City rivalries sometimes make it difficult to promote anything that has associations with Portsmouth in our area but it is important that drinkers support this beer in places other than Pompey itself. Unless we do so it will disappear and further reduce choice n Whitbread pubs.

Pompey Royal is now brewed at Faversham in Kent and is generally agreed to have improved in recent weeks after its transfer from Cheltenham.

Pompey Royal has been introduced into the following pubs recently, although as the beer is currently part of the 'Guest Beer Club' it may not be a permanent feature:

AGGIE GREYS Southampton
CROWN Highfield, Southampton
DOLPHIN Hursley
ELEPHANT AND CASTLE Sholing, Southampton
FARMERS HOME Durley
RED LION West Dean
SHIP Woolston, Southampton
STAR HOTEL Southampton
TOLL HOUSE Lymington
WHITE HORSE Ashton, Bishop's Waltham

We would be pleased to hear of any others.

Pubs News Hop Press index

Rob Whatley

We begin this edition of pub news in Lymington, where Richard and Annie Savin are the new owners of Longs' Wine Bar. Draught Bass and Wadworth's 6X are currently on offer with the promise of Wadworth's IPA and a guest beer in the summer.

The Angel also has a new licensee, James Marks, who was previously at the Victoria Inn at Allbrook.

In an interesting and welcome reversal of the recent trend the Ship Inn now has two separate bars, with the traditional price differential between them. This is the second Whitbread pub in Lymington in recent months to revert to having two separate bars the other being the Crown and Anchor. Let us hope that this is the beginning of a trend.

Ye Olde English Gentleman is thought to be opening again in the summer with a larger eating area and improved accommodation for the licensee.

A few miles to the north at Setley the Filly Inn is currently selling Ringwood BB, Fortyniner and Old Thumper along with Palmer' a IPA. The Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst has also had a change of beers, with 6X replacing Flower's Original.

The Department of the Environment has overturned New Forest District Council's decision to refuse extensions to the Swan Inn at Lyndhurst. The changes will involve an increase in the size of the bar and the provision of overnight accommodation.

The latest pub to change its emphasis to food is the Croft Tavern at Hythe, which has become a Chef and Brewer restaurant.

The Old Farmhouse at Totton has been closed for two months for a £170,000 facelift, just three years after previous changes which cost £50,000. One good development is the promise of two dart boards.

Moving to the North West of our area, the Greyhound at Stockbridge is now open again after alterations and nearby at Horsebridge we welcome Mike and Mary Gilbert to the John O'Gaunt, Although the couple have some previous experience of the licensed trade this is the first time they have run their own pub.

Also in charge for the first time are Diane and Keith Holloway, who are the new hosts at the William IV, Romsey. The pub has been refurbished but still does not serve real ale.

By the time you read this, licensee Jim Leckie will have retired from running the Greyhound at Broughton after over twelve years at the pub. The new landlord is from the Globe in Andover. We wish Jim and his wife a happy 'semi-retirement' in Devon, for we understand they will be carrying on in the Trade by doing relief management around the West Country.

As mentioned in our last issue the Cleveland Bay, Wadworth's new pub in Chandler's Ford, is finally open and is selling Hall and Woodhouse's Tanglefoot, together with Wadworth's own IPA, 6X and Farmer's Glory. Although only one bar, reaction to the design of the pub has been generally very favourable. There is one long, L-shaped bar with a number of alcoves.

While drinkers in Valley Park were celebrating the opening of their new pub, just down the road in Eastleigh customers of the Grantham Arms were bidding farewell to Anne Collins, who has been a barmaid at the pub for eighteen years. We wish her a happy retirement.

There have been changes at two Bishopstoke pubs. Ursula and David Sawyer are the new tenants at the Prince of Wales, while the Foresters Arms is now owned by Salisbury brewers Gibbs Mew. Wiltshire Bitter and Salisbury Best now increase the choice available to local drinkers.

As we mentioned in the last edition of Pub News, the Sportsman at West End has been renamed the Collared Dove. Kevin and Julie MacGregor are the new managers of this latest "Brewers Fayre" establishment

Staying in West End, the Master Builder offers drinkers a fine choice of beers with 6X, Theakston's Best Bitter and Fuller's London Pride available, together with a guest beer.

The Bugle at Botley has recently re-opened with Kevin and Jacqui Lockstone, who were previously in charge at Netley's Prince Consort.

Pub News sends a belated welcome to Barry and Linda Haysom at the Cottage, Butlocks Heath. The pub was sold to Wadworth's by Kevin and Anne Dickinson, who have now moved to the Brushmakers Arms at Upham. This historic ex-Watney pub has undergone much needed structural repairs and some alterations have been made to the bar area. The beers currently available are Draught Bass and Flowers Original.

Another recently "freed" pub, the Hampshire Bowman at Dundridge, is to have Gale's HSB and BBB, Ringwood BB and a guest beer on offer during the summer months. Moving to the North East, and slightly outside our area, we learn that Lawns, which used to house the Joshua Privett brewery when it was called the Pig and Whistle, is up for sale again. So if any of our readers has £1 million or so to spare...

Even at these prices there is a great demand for public houses according to Mr Brian Morris, from the Winchester office of business agents Christie & Co. He said recently, "The shortage of supply has led to us having a great number of excellent prospective purchasers on our books, all anxious to acquire a public house before the start of the summer season.

One such free house, the Hop Inn at Winchester, has closed for two months so that the pub can be extended and redecorated. When the pub re-opens in June it will revert to its former name, the Bird in Hand,

Also in Winchester we welcome Chris and Nessa to the Albion. They previously ran pubs in the London area.

We are pleased to be able to report the following real ale gains in Southampton:

Richard and Pat Brown have opened Brown's Brasserie near the central station. This is their second establishment as they also run the former Cork's Bistro in Lyndhurst now renamed Brown's Bistro. Eldridge Pope's IPA (kept with a 'cask breather') is currently on offer, although other beers may be added later.

In Woolston Phil Mitchell has retired as licensee of the Millers Pond after 16 years in charge. The customers won't have too many problems remembering the name of the new landlord, however: it's Phil Mitchell, son of the retiring licensee!

As you may have read elsewhere in this Hop Press there have been changes to two pubs in the St. Denys area:

Nellie's Nob has reverted to its original name, the South Western Arms, and the external decor of the pub has been altered.

Just up the road, the Junction Inn has had major structural alterations to the lounge bar which have greatly enhanced the interior appearance of the pub. One especially welcome addition is the provision of a 'committee room' suitable for small meetings. Congratulations to all involved with the work.

Staying in the same part of town, the Crown and Sceptre, Bevois Valley Road and the Dolphin, Osborne Road have both been taken over by Gibbs Mew of Salisbury. Of the two only the Crown and Sceptre at the moment serves real ale.

Mr. Smiths in London Road has introduced Courage Directors while the refurbished Dorchester Arms now offers Flowers Original. Likewise, the Greyhound once more serves real ale.

Finally we have to report some news that has saddened many of our local members, As mentioned in the editorial, the Bay Tree in New Road, which hosted the first meeting of the South Hants branch of CAMRA some fourteen years ago, has become a Bass house. It is one of a number of Gales pubs which are to be taken over by Bass in a 'pub swap'. Not all of the other pubs involved have not yet been named but Gales have gained the Gordon Arms in Fareham and up to three pubs in the Yeovil area, Bass have the Double Axe in Alton (now renamed with some typical plural name that we cannot remember!).

An action group has been set up by the Bay Tree's customers with the minimum aim of allowing the pub to have some guest beers to maintain its atmosphere as a real ale haven.

Let us hope that Bass do not make too many changes to this pub, which is one of the few left in the city centre that is not aimed mainly at the food trade. In particular we hope they will retain the upstairs room with its real ale bar and its strong links with the jazz and folk music scene in the city.

Hop Press issue number 27 – June 1988

Editor: Dave Neale
25 Withewood Mansions
Shirley Road
Southampton
SO1 3JA
0703 701648.
hop-press@shantscamra.org.uk

© CAMRA Ltd. 1988

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