Gloucester Journal. September 27th 1884. Berkeley Court: George Nicholls, of the Brewers Arms at the Lynch, was summoned for selling beer on Sunday morning on Sunday morning, the 14th inst, during prohibited hours. Fined £1, and 8s. costs, and his licence endorsed.
The annual rateable value of the Brewers Arms was £14.5s.0d. in 1891 and only £8.0s.0d. in 1903. Why the value should decrease so much in the intervening twelve years is not known.
Brimscombe Brewery Ales were on tap at the Brewers Arms and Dursley Brewery Ales at the Boars Head this area of Berkeley must have been a mecca for beer drinkers in late Victorian times. The Brewers Arms was acquired by Georges Bristol Brewery when the pubs of the Brimscombe Brewery came up for auction in 1922.
Carole Skidmore from Devon contacted me in February 2009 to tell me that her grandparents were licensees of the Brewers Arms in Berkeley. Carole wrote: “My father grew up in the Brewers and is still alive, now in his 80s. As a young man, he worked for the Berkeley Castle Estate as a ‘roofer’ and foxhunt kennelman. My grandparents, William and Mary Ann Lewis , were in the Brewers Arms at least from 1927. At some point in the pub’s history and probably before they took it over, it had been called The Three Tubs. I’m fairly certain that their beer came from George’s in Bristol when my dad was a boy and I think George’s owned the pub. It’s possible that, later, beer deliveries came from Stroud Breweries
Gramp died c.1957 and Gran stayed on to run the pub for a couple of years on her own. She might have ended her days there but building work had started on the nuclear power station employing many hard-working, hard-drinking Irish navvies. The Brewers was the first pub they came to on payday night and, if they didn’t stay there all evening, it was the last one they fell into after touring round the many others up in the village! There were fights and, when they smashed up the large clock in the taproom, Gran decided that, as she was also well into her 70’s by then and getting too old for chucking out drunken louts, she would retire to live in the vacant rented cottage next door. The pub then became a private house owned by Mr Stan Cooper.
As for my treats in the pub – or, rather, its off-sales – I can remember glasses of Corona pop from bottles stored in sturdy wooden crates, crisps with salt in blue twists of paper (which meant the salt seemed to land on only a couple of crisps, yuk!), and 5 boys’ chocolate bars! And, also getting wet on rainy days if I went to Granny’s kitchen because this was in a building separate from the pub – which did contain their bedrooms and other living rooms but, strangely, not a kitchen/dining area! Damp shoes and clothes were nothing, though, if a dish of elvers or slices of fried black pudding were being served up!”
Owner in 1891: Smith & Sons, Brimscombe Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £14.5s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse
Owner in 1903: Smith & Sons, Brimscombe Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £8.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Brewers Arms include:
1891 George Nicholls
1903 Oliver James Nicholls
1927-1957 William and Mary Ann Lewis
1957 Mary Ann Lewis (widow)