The Golden Miller was the archetypal estate pub serving the residents of the Rowanfield housing development. The date of construction was probably in the late 1950’s / early 1960’s. The Golden Miller was built for West Country Breweries, ownership later passing to Whitbread Flowers and Whitbread Pub Partnerships.

Courtesy Michael Wilkes

Golden Miller was a thoroughbred racehorse of Irish descent and was one of the most successful horses at the Cheltenham Festival, winning the famous Gold Cup five consecutive years between 1932 and 1936.

Gary Busson, the landlord of the Golden Miller pub in the late 1990’s, set up a football academy for under 15’s with the aim of keeping the youngsters occupied and giving them a purpose in their lives. Gary was a keen rugby player, having regularly played for Cheltenham North Rugby Club for 12 years. The football academy practised at the Westfields Youth Centre in Goldsmith Road.

When Gary left the fortunes of the Golden Miller took a downward spiral. A tenant was found guilty in April 2000 of stealing more than £7,000 from Whitbread Inns and his successor was also found guilty of taking £3,000 cash from Whitbread after being at the pub for only six months.  The Golden Miller was then put up for sale.

Image: Mike Williams

In July 2002 the pub was renamed Cotterill’s Bar, a tribute to ex Cheltenham Town Football Club manager Steve Cotterill who guided Cheltenham Town to division two of the Nationwide League. More than 100 locals and ‘Robins’ fans witnessed Steve Cotterill cut the ceremonial ribbon to official reopen the pub after a £50,000 refit. The walls were painted red and the entrance hall decorated in red and white stripes, the same as the Cheltenham Town kit. One half of the wall featured photographs of the Robins in action together with images of Steve himself. Steve Cotterrill said that it was odd seeing his name on the pub.

Coterrill’s Bar had closed by 2003, allegedly because the owners could not find a bar manager to run the premises. An application was submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council by Premier Circuit Ltd for the construction of 21 flats on the site, consisting of a four-storey block of ten flats and a three-storey block of eleven flats. The application was turned down. One councillor said that “it would be like rabbit hutches and providing only 14 parking spaces was ridiculous.” Another commented: “It’s a flat-roofed 1960’s development built in the 21st century. It’s ugly. It’s time the council stood up and said that it is not up to the standard we would expect.”

The pub had been demolished by September 2005. The developers had amended the plans and, after appeal, permission was granted for the erection of two blocks of flats. A four-storey block of ten flats and a three-storey block of eleven. A local resident who had organised a petition against the plans said: “I’ve tried to fight it but I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do. They’ve won.”

The site of the Golden Miller.

 Mysteriously on 7th February 2004 an advertisement appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo referring to the pub as the Golden Miller again. Guitarist and Vocalist Steve Charles was due to play at the pub in Ravenfield! Can anyone shine any light on this?

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