The George Inn, tied to the Stroud Brewery, was a well-proportioned sandstone-built building but with no distinguishing features. When the inn sign was removed there would have been nothing to suggest that it was once a pub. It has long been demolished but a cottage, named Bream View, that was in the bottom of the garden of the George Inn, still stands.
The Coleford Police Court heard in August 1897 that ‘Robert White, landlord of the George Beerhouse, Yorkley, was fined ten shillings and costs on the 12th January 1897 for selling beer during prohibited hours.’
Stroud Brewery were the owners of the George Inn as early as 1891. It remained in their ownership until the late 1950’s when the Stroud and Cheltenham breweries amalgamated to form West Country Breweries. The annual rateable value of the George Inn, a licensed beer house, was set at £12.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903 with a closing time at 10 pm.
Evelyn Beard is the daughter of Horace and Meg (Margaret) Ellway, who ran the George Inn from the late 1930’s until 1957. Evelyn remembers the time when Stroud Brewery beer was in short supply during and after the Second World War. She said, “Beer was scarce at the time, and once a barrel was opened it was sold very quickly until it ran out with everyone buying pints instead of halves to make sure they got their share. The pub would then have to close until the next delivery.’ She also recalled a woman named Hilda Akers who was rather partial to a glass of beer and, apparently, was the first woman to regularly drink at the George sometime during or after the war. She recalled Mrs Akers sitting in the Smoke Room drinking beer and bemused men going from the Tap Room to the Smoke Room just to see her supping her ale. Evelyn also recalled, “a couple of other memories was that Woodbines cost 4d per packet of 10, or 5 wrapped in paper for tuppence (2d.) Players cigarettes were six pence for 10. Plenty of tobacco was sold to the older men who smoked pipes whilst they played cards in the Tap Room.”
Landlords at the George Inn include:
1891 Eli Evans
1897 Robert White
1903 Robert Wintle
George and Polly James (Polly was Margaret Ellways aunt)
1939,1951 Horace Ellway (died 18th Dec. 1951)
1952-1957 Margaret Baxter Ellway (known as Meg)
1961 Mr and Mrs Ivor Ellis (they moved to the Oakwood Inn, near Bream)