Image courtesy Mark Radway (Facebook post)

The Reverend John Horlick was a minister at Ruardean in 1825. There was a John Horlick, aged 32, in occupancy as landlord of the Angel Inn in 1851. This was probably the Rev. John Horlick’s son. In October 1825 the minister was attending and comforting a parishioner as life ebbed away from her. Mrs Harper told a tale on her deathbed about the Ruardean ghost which was supposed to haunt the Angel Inn.  Apparently, a Scotsman called Hector Moses McJordan was a money lender. Seeking repayment from an outstanding agreements Hector was often told abruptly, “You cannot get blood from a stone”.  But one of Hector’s debtors told him that, on the contrary, blood could be drawn from the Staunton stone if it was pricked on the stroke of midnight. So, Hector Moses McJordan duly went to the Staunton stone one night with the idea of taking the stone back to Scotland where he could make a lot of money. On the way back he was murdered at the Angel Inn for the money he carried. It’s an unlikely tale, not substantiated, not very scary and the Staunton Stone, (presumably the Buckstone) is still there.

The Representatives of the late Alfred Wintle of Bill Mills at Weston under Penyard owned the Angel Inn in 1891. Alfred Wintle was not a brewer but had acquired a small portfolio of pubs that made their own beer so that he could supply malted barley from the Bill Mills. So, presumably the Angel may have once brewed its own beer. It is also possible that Alfred Wintle supplied malt to the Ruardean Brewery which was next door to the Angel. Thomas Wintle, Alfred’s brother, opened the Forest Brewery in Mitcheldean in 1869. With the construction of a large malt house at the brewery Bill Mills was used for bottling beer. The pubs of Alfred Wintle were taken on by the Forest Brewery and in 1903 Francis Wintle was the owner of the Angel at Ruardean. The annual rateable value was £29.15s.0d. and the pub was licensed as an ale house. In 1931 the rateable value had been raised to £35 per annum.

A column of one penny coins stacked on top of each other on the counter of the Angel, and assembled over a duration of three years, eventually reached 42 inches high. A competition was held to guess the monetary value of the pile which was worked out to be an impressive £29.12s.0d. In July 1967 Mr and Mrs Pinchin of the West Country Brewery Company was invited to the Angel for the long anticipated ‘pushing over the column of pennies’ ceremony. The money was donated to the Ruardean and Pludds Christmas Cheer fund.

The Citizen: Friday, January 10th, 1986 – Villages’ tribute to landlord – Landlord Wilf Yemm, has been given the freedom of Ruardean by appreciative customers. Mr Yemm and his wife, Elsie, have been at the Angel Inn, Ruardean, for 35 years and the idea of conferring Mr Yemm with the freedom of the village came from his regulars. At a ceremony held at the Angel, a citation was read by the Rector, the Rev. Pat Birt, and a special key, made by apprentices at Rank Xerox was given to Mr Yemm. The ceremony came as a surprise to both Mr and Mrs Yemm. They plan to frame the citation and hang it on the wall at the inn. Mr Yemm was born at High Beech, Ruardean, in 1922 and served in the Middle East and Italy during the war. The couple have two sons, Roger and Derek.

The Citizen: Tuesday, August 18th, 1987 – Pub Car Push: If you have ever had to push your car to start it you will have some idea how regulars of the Angel Hotel, Ruardean, will feel after they have pushed a car all the way from the Forest village to Gloucester. On Sunday August 30th, they plan to push a Mini the 16 miles to raise money for charity. Proceeds – and they hope to raise £1,000 – will be given to Geoff Mansell of Ruardean, who was seriously injured in an accident last year. So far they have 30 volunteers ready to join in the push, although they are looking for more. They will work in teams of six, the others resting in a support bus behind. They leave the pub at 10.00 am and plan, perhaps rather optimistically, to be in Gloucester three hours later, just in time for last orders! Sponsor forms are still available from the Angel’s landlady, Mrs Daphne Cooper.

The legacy of ownership by West Country Breweries is a ‘Best in the West’ ceramic plaque that still graces the building. Throughout most of the 1960’s up to the 1990’s the Angel was a humble Whitbread pub. After the disposal of the Whitbread pub estate the Angel became part of the Pubmaster chain. When renovations were taking place at the pub in 2002 old fireplaces were found to be bricked up. The Angel Inn closed in 2008.

In 2011 the Angel Inn had a new lease of life as a music school. Singing sessions were held upstairs in the old skittle alley. It was the brainchild of Jayl De Lara, the great grandson of the world-famous concert pianist and composer Adelina De Lara. Jayl said, “We are very excited about relocating [from Gloucester] to Ruardean and we want to respect the history of the Angel and display memorabilia from its time as a pub. We are planning to keep the Angel and Free House signs up. We want to make our school all-inclusive, for all ages and sectors of the community.” The Harmony School had been set up by Jayl De Lara in 1997 with the ethos of vocal coaching and singing as a therapy. In 2014 a fully equipped professional studio was also set up in the skittle alley. A single released by Jayl’s group Band of Life called Somewhere was a chart-topping single on the Online Reverb Nation Alternative Chart, also getting airplay on BBC 6 Music.

Landlords at the Angel Inn include:

1775 Mary Evans

1829 James Burgess

1833,1835 John Court

1851 James Horlick

1851,1856 John Horlick (aged 32 in 1851)

1863 George Smith

1881 Harriet Smith (widow, aged 48 years)

1885,1889 Mark Cole

1891 Leonard J. Phelps

1897,1919 Edwin Cornelius Mason Bennett

1923,1927 William Arkell

1930,1937 Thomas Morgan

1941 Gertrude Morgan

1951 Wilfred Yemm & Elsie

1986 Bernard Meek

1987 Mrs Daphne Cooper

1991 Reginald Langley

1992 Deirdre Denise Hudson

1994 Valerie Powell

2002 (November) Peter and Tracy Arthur, and Tracy’s sister Rose Morman.

2009 Kevin Fidler

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