The pub is a twin gabled rendered building with an ornamental crest (Berkeley Arms) above the front door. The name of the pub is highlighted in raised stonework lettering on each gable. The Berkeley Arms also retains very rare Stroud Brewery etched windows.
Stroud News & Journal, 31st December 1999 – Millennium Celebrations: The owner of The Berkeley Arms in Cam, Graham Ponting (51) and his wife, Hazel, have ran their premises for 10 years and see the pub as a family and community tavern. This is reflected in their Millennium celebrations. People will be charged £5 and will receive their first drink free and a glass of champagne at midnight. Mr Ponting said: “I think it really will be a night to remember where children will be able to tell their grandchildren where they were and what they were doing on this special night.”
The Citizen, 30th March 2001 – Pub where all are ‘local’: Landlord Graham Ponting is particularly proud of his real ales – and he has good reason. His pub, the Berkeley Arms at Cam, made it into the CAMRA Good Beer Guide last year and has repeated the feat for 2001. He said: “It was the first time it had been put in. To get in the millennium guide was good, but to be carried over for a second year was a bigger achievement.”
The pub’s mainstay ale is Wickwar Bob, but it has various guest beers. In fact the Berkeley Arms can play host to as many as three guests a week. The pub also sells Heineken and Stella Artois lager and Strongbow and GL ciders. Mr Ponting, who runs the pub with his wife Hazel, describes the Berkeley Arms as a traditional locals’ place.
He said: “We treat everyone as we would like to be treated. We greet everyone on the way in and say goodbye when they go out. It is a locals’ pub but that said, when people walk in for the first time, they come back and stay with us. We are part of the community of Cam.”
In fact, Mr Ponting helped launch Cam Carnival in 1992. He is vice-president of Cam Sports Club and a founder member of Cam Lions Club. The pub hosts quizzes and has a very successful darts teams. The Monday night team, which plays in the Gloucester league, has won the league, the knockout cup, and most 180’s, won the singles and was runner-up in the pairs competition.
The Berkeley Arms is hosting its eighth beer festival in May, serving real ales from around the West Country. Entertainment for the festival will include a brass band playing on the patio and a band formed at Rednock School, Dursley.
Mr and Mrs Ponting, who have been at the pub for 11 years, refurbished the Berkeley Arms last year, including putting in an oak bar and an oak floor.
Stroud News & Journal, 21st August 2007 – On target with darts cash: Darts players have hit the cash bullseye in the fight against cancer. The Berkeley Arms in Cam presented the Cobalt Appeal Fund with £1,800 in support of its campaign to open a new breast cancer clinic.
The clinic, based in Cheltenham, will be a centre of excellence for the screening, diagnoses and care of breast cancer patients. Christine Smith, a former breast cancer patient, and husband Frank, organised a sponsored darts marathon and raffle with the help of pub landlords Graham and Hazel Ponting.
Cobalt’s fundraising co-ordinator Karen Davies said: “This is a small pub with a very big heart and team work at its best. Over the years, they have raised over £10,500 to support our work.”
The Gazette online, 16th July 2020: Landlords at a pub in Cam are celebrating after successfully navigating the peaks and troughs of the trade for more than three decades. Graham and Hazel Ponting have been pulling pints at the Berkeley Arms for the past 30 years. The couple started their hospitality career in 1990.
Graham, who had previously worked in the engineering field, said he had always fancied running a pub, and taking on the Berkeley Arms meant he could continue his role as a fireman at Dursley Fire Station too. “I would be serving behind the bar and my fireman’s pager would go off, so I would shout to Hazel, ‘fire!’. She would stop what she was doing and come down to the bar and pick up where I’d left off,” he said. “Running a bar and being a fireman is quite demanding and without Hazel it never would have happened. We’re a partnership.”
Together Graham and Hazel turned the Berkeley Arms into a thriving pub which primarily serves the local community. Graham said their approach to success has been to ‘treat the pub like home’. “It’s like a big family,” he said. “We’ve got to know generations of the same families over the years. We’re now serving 18, 19 and 20-year-olds whose parents first met in our pub.”
Graham particularly likes the social aspect to running the pub. Before lockdown he enjoyed running karaoke sessions, sometimes taking the mic himself to croon his favourite Neil Diamond song, Sweet Caroline. The couple also enjoyed giving local bands a chance to perform. “A number of bands started up from here, such as Fracture, who now do big shows, supporting big bands. They started here as 17 year old lads.”
During lockdown the couple decorated the inside of the pub and rejuvenated the pub garden. “Reopening after lockdown was lovely, it really was,” said Graham. “Some of our customers said we’d got it just right and that they felt really safe, which is exactly what we wanted.”
Graham and Hazel are planning to have a big celebration of their 30th anniversary at the pub, but they’re holding off until they can have a ‘proper do’. Ashley Lovett, operations manager at Hawthorn Leisure, which owns the pub, paid tribute to the couple. He said: “30 years in any career is a wonderful achievement, but to successfully run the same pub for 30 years is an exceptional achievement.”
Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £14.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £14.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Berkeley Arms include:
1856 G. Mabbett
1885,1906 Charles Hopton Hadley
1919 Mrs Emma Hadley
1927 Geo. Price
1978 Martin and Hazel ?
1989-2023 Graham and Hazel Ponting