In 1953 the Stroud Brewery Company were keen to build a new pub for the residents of Podsmead, a rapidly growing housing estate to the south of Gloucester. At the time, however, there were stringent building regulations and it was not possible to construct a traditional brick building. A compromise was made in the erection of a pre-fabricated single storey building constructed mainly of reclaimed timber. It was not possible to employ professional builders on the construction of the ‘prefab pub’ as skills were urgently needed elsewhere. To overcome this problem the Stroud Brewery set up their own Building Department and the Jet and Whittle was built by the Stroud Brewery’s own men.
It opened on 9th November 1953. It had a large public bar, smoke room or lounge, a spacious cellar, a flat for the use of the licensee with three bedrooms, bathroom, living room and good working kitchen. The Chairman of Directors, Ltd Col K.B. Godsell, invited Mr E Greenwood of the Gloster Aircraft Company to unveil the inn sign which depicted the E 28/39 – the first jet propelled aircraft in the world to successfully fly. Mr Greenwood was the first pilot to fly faster than 600 mph. The ‘prefab pub’ was eventually replaced by a more substantial brick building after building restrictions were eased. In the 1960’s and 1970’s / 1980’s the pub was tied to West Country Breweries and Whitbread.
In Ma 1983 an application was submitted by Whitbread Flowers Ltd for a light industrial building, office and car park on the land at the back of the Jet & Whittle. Residents living in nearby old peoples’ flats objected to the proposal. A local councillor said: “The old people living in Avon amd Arden House are very close to the pub and there have been a considerable number of complaints about the noise nuisance from the flats. Industry on that site would combine with the noise from the pub and place quite a considerable burden on those flats.”
The Jet and Whittle was acquired by the Stroud based Red Rooster Pub Company in 1997 and they changed the name to the Double Gloster. The two bars were knocked into one. The lounge bar of the Jet and Whittle was known as the Meteor Bar and on display were memorabilia including press cuttings and photographs of the first jet flights. Just over one year later (Sept 1998) the pub changed its identity once more to the Red Rooster. The pub reverted back to the Jet & Whittle in July 2001. Punch Pub Company owned the pub in 2001 when it had a £20,000 refurbishment. The Jet and Whittle had closed by 2007 and was offered for sale.
In April 2008 an application was received for the redevelopment of the site with 40 affordable homes.
Landlords at the Jet & Whittle include:
1957 Harold Beighton
1959-1979 Eric Ford (retired in Sept. 1979. Eric died on February 6th 1980)
1998 Bill and Debbie Shelvy
1999 Sue Larby
2001 Lyndon and April Baptiste