Edward Jennings was the owner of the Calcutta Inn in 1891 and it was licensed as a beer house which was free from brewery tie. During the next twelve years the free house was bought by Godsell & Sons of the Salmon Springs Brewery in Stroud, and the Calcutta Inn was part of their tied estate in 1903. The annual rateable value was set at £20.5s.0d. in 1891 and 1903. Stroud Brewery became the owners of the Calcutta Inn when Godsell’s brewery and their pub estate was bought in 1928.
The Calcutta Inn closed in the early summer of 1999. It had been on the commercial property market since March with the freehold at £125,000, available with vacant possession. A planning application was submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council by Trinity Gate Properties of Tewkesbury to demolish the building and construct 13 flats in its place. The plans only included provision for two parking spaces. A local resident said: “We’ve got no parking as it is. We’ve got awful problems and now they suddenly say they want 13 flats.” The owner of the Kebab restaurant opposite the old pub commented: “It’s a bit of an eyesore. It looks dirty and homeless people use it. What would you prefer to look at, an eyesore or some nice flats. Whilst the Calcutta Inn was unoccupied the ‘West Country Ales – 1760 – Best in the West’ ceramic plaque on the front of the pub was either removed or stolen.
A proposal was made by local churchgoers to convert the Calcutta into a community centre. The Elim Christian Centre in St George’s Road expressed interest in running a Social Care Ministry. A spokesman said: “Our plan for the building would include a community coffee lounge with book and music exchange areas. Thee would be a designated area for mums to bring along their toddlers to play in safety while they chat with friends. It would be a centre where people would feel safe and happy to come.”
Demolition work started at the Calcutta in November 2003. Planning permission was granted on October 1st for the construction of 12 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom penthouse on the site of the old pub. The developer then sold the site rather than develop it themselves.
As the building of the residential apartments was nearing completion it prompted a correspondent to write to the ‘Gloucestershire Echo’ on 28th February 2005 with this observation: “The [Calcutta Inn] was no oil-painting but what has replaced it, tacked onto the end of an otherwise quaint row of two-storey Victorian cottages, defies all laws of taste and logic. It is a ludicrously out-of-context edifice and no parking provision is made for the new apartments.”
Landlords at the Calcutta Inn include:
1878 Edward Butler
1883 Mrs J.B. Butler
1891 Thomas Wheeler
1903 Joseph Marsh
1939 John J. Marsh
1988,1999 Joe and Pat Cassidy