The Greyhound Inn is located halfway between Elton corner and Littledean on the A4151. The parish boundary of Elton extends almost to the Greyhound and a pub called the Plough Inn on the Elton Road may have been in very close proximity. The Greyhound and Plough Inn do not appear to be contemporary with each other, so it is possible that the licence of the Plough may have been relinquished in favour of the Greyhound.
George Baker was the owner and occupier of the Greyhound in 1891. It was licensed as an ale house was free of brewery tie. The Greyhound had an annual rateable value of £18.0s.0d. and closed each night at 10 pm. The Stroud Brewery Company had acquired the pub in 1903
The Forest of Dean Branch of Gloucestershire CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) declared the Greyhound their ‘Pub of the Year’ in 1999.
Charity events held at the Greyhound Inn during 2000 raised an impressive total of £7,000 for the Air Ambulance.
When Tony and Doreen Lorimer moved to the Greyhound Inn in July 2007 they had a nightmare beginning when the usual placid stream running through the pub garden burst its banks, flooding the pub just three weeks after they moved in. The pub regulars took matters into their own hands and built an impressive barrage made of sleepers to divert the stream back around the pub. Firefighters from Cinderford arrived very quickly and spent the next hour diverting the river away from the pub – they then even spent time drying the carpets while everyone carried on drinking and eating. Doreen said, “We had three or four inches of water through the pub but the fire brigade were wonderful.” A family wake which as being held at the greyhound carried on late until the night. Tony and Doreen held a party to thank locals for their support in June 2008.
An ’Eating Out’ review in the ‘Forester’ newspaper in July 2009 remarked, ‘The Greyhound has a homely feel with resident cats and dogs roaming around the garden and even a large fish tank separating the bar from the conservatory. In the restaurant the tables look out over the beer garden where there are hens walking around. The pub is cosy and friendly and offers a variety of home-cooked food to appeal to all tastes.’
In 1989 local Cinderford plasterer Bill Taylor built a Diplodocus dinosaur in the pubs garden. Affectionately known as Horace it was a distinctive and much-loved feature of the Greyhound Inn for over 20 years. In 2010 when new owners took over the pub, Horace was looking decidedly worse for wear. His tail was missing and parts of his body had badly worn out and needed touching up with a new lick of paint. An appeal to the local newspaper to track down Bill was successful, and he returned to fix the Diplodocus – now renamed Dino the Dinosaur. The landlady said, “I’ve fallen in love with him. I quite often talk to him when I go and collect the glasses from the garden.”
Sheila Whyment took over the Greyhound with business partner Chris Harrison in August 2010. Sheila had ben running successful restaurants and bars in Corfu for the previous 25 years and hoped that she could bring a touch of the Mediterranean to the Forest of Dean. An ‘Eating Out’ review in November 2010 noted that the menu was mainly pub favourites with Greek influences such as starters of salami, cheese and olives. Sheila recruited an ex-army chef to introduce more Mediterranean food to the menu.
Gareth and Lyn Davies had previous experience of running city pubs in Birmingham so the move to the Greyhound in September 2011 was certainly a change. Lyn said, “You never know who is going to walk through the door of a country pub. On New Year’s Day our car park was full of horses as the riders had stopped in for a drink. You certainly wouldn’t expect that in Birmingham.” The vintage motorcycling club met in the pub again and there were plans to revive the harvest festival. A quiz night held in the Greyhound with funds raised going to Littledean Church of England Primary School was described as “absolutely heaving”. Gareth said, “This has been a successful pub for 100 years and there’s no reason why it can’t continue to be so.”
An armed raid took place at the Greyhound Inn just after 10 pm on Friday 2nd September 2016. Just after closing time a young woman knocked on the door of the pub seeking help because she claimed her car had broken down. A gang of four teenagers then burst in and threatened a member of staff with a knife before stealing watches and money from a safe. The inquiry became one of attempted murder because the gang of four had attempted to set fire to the pub before they left. The victim smelt burning and was able to raise the alarm. A 19 year-old man, two 16 year old boy and a 14 year-old boy, all from Gloucester, were arrested in connection with the case and bailed.
In January 2017 the Greyhound was put up for sale, marketed with an asking price of £185,000. The agents stated that the property ‘is a quaint cottage-style country pub set in 0.7 of an acre. It is currently closed and is smoke and fire damaged. The pub has bar and restaurant facilities along with three bedrooms as part of the owner’s accommodation’.
Horace, or Dino the Dinosaur, was bought by collector Graham Gardiner in April 2018 and he now resides at Grahams home in Walmore Common. Graham has renamed Horace once again and even given him a sex change. Now called Doris she enjoys life in retirement with Graham near the banks of the River Severn
A planning application for change of use to residential was submitted to the Forest of Dean District Council.
At the time of writing (March 2022) the old Greyhound pub is up for sale and the agents are specialists in commercial and licensed properties. In the intervening years since closure the well-tendered gardens have been left and brambles and uncontrolled vegetation growth have taken over – the old pub sign, although still standing, has been lost in a swathe of unkept bushes. The future of the pub is very much in doubt and it would take considerable investment to return it to a successful business proposition.
Landlords at the Greyhound Inn include:
1891 George Baker
1903 Edward Probyn
1939 Alfred W. Nicholls
1970 Percy Owen Young (Dean Forest Mercury: Friday December 19th, 1969: Transfer of the licence of the Greyhound Inn, Elton, to Mr Percy Owen Young was confirmed by justices at Littledean on Thursday).
1999 Ray and Avril Pammenter
2005-2007 Dave Bathers, Grace Loving and Dave Eveleigh
2007-2010 Tony and Doreen Lorimer
2010 Sheila Whyment and Chris Harrison
2012 Gareth and Lyn Davies