It is likely that the Longford Inn was once called the New Inn, but I have to confirm this.
The Citizen, 23rd October 1973: If Mrs Fay Whitson, of 81 Oxford Street, Gloucester, is not the county’s oldest barmaid, then she must be close to taking the title. For 87-year-old Mrs Whitmore is still pulling pints behind the bar of the Longford Inn, as she has been for several years now. And she has been behind bars for more than 40 years – in public and saloon bars, of course!
The Citizen, 30th October 2000: A village near Gloucester was evacuated and six people rushed to hospital when a chemical factory spectacularly exploded at 2am this morning. Twenty or so fireballs, described by witnesses as “the size of houses” , rocketed into the sky above Sandhurst as drums full of chemicals exploded at the Upper Parting chemical waster processing plant Cleansing Services Group. As noxious gases and black smoke billowed from the plant off Sandhurst Lane, 60 villagers were evacuated from the village and taken to the Longford Inn, Tewkesbury Road, for their safety.
Morning Advertiser, 2nd November 2000 – Pub provides refuge from factory blaze: Residents of a Gloucestershire village were evacuated to their local pub as potentially poisonous gas billowed from a factory fire. Police officers alerted 50 people in Sandhurst about the disaster, and evacuated the majority of villagers to the Longford Inn during the early hours on Monday morning. Two of the pub’s conference rooms were turned into bedrooms during the disaster and bedding was borrowed from the neighbouring Travel Inn.
Manager of the pub in nearby Longford, Sam Mazza, said: “People arrived about 5am and had coffee and breakfast and watched TV. Everyone was pretty disgruntled with the situation, but we’re all cleared up now.” The Beefeater pub laid on food and drink throughout the day, before locals returned to their homes on Monday morning.
Gale-force winds caused the fire at Cleaning Services factory where chemicals, including cyanide are processed and recycled. A serious of explosions – which resident Anne Johnston described as being like “Dante’s Inferno – flames, smoke… a scene from hell” – ripped through the plant. A fire-fighting base was set up at another local pub, the Globe Inn, where the temporary manager Dave Clancy provided a refuge for the 15 fire crews that attended at the scene. “They arrived at about 2am and based themselves in the car park immediately,” he said.
Station Officer Simon MacMillan, who led the operation from the emergency HQ, said the problem had been knowing exactly which chemicals were combining to form the gas cloud. The explosions tore containers apart and mixed a “chemical soup” at the plant, he added.
The Citizen, 29th June 2004 – Pub shuts for revamp: A city pub has closed its doors for a £500,000 refit. The newly styled restaurant at the Longford Beefeater in Tewkesbury Road will have a brighter, more contemporary look. After the makeover, it will employ 25 extra staff.
The Longford Inn is expected to reopen on July 30th.
The Citizen, 3rd August 2004 – Floating at the inn: An air blimp will be floating 100 feet above Gloucester all this week to mark the reopening of the Longford Inn Beefeater restaurant. The inn opened its doors on Friday after being closed for one month for refurbishment. The blimp is attached by cable to a trailer in the car park of the restaurant. The Longford now has leather booth seating and an upstairs dining area, as well as changes to its menu.
The Citizen, March 2005 – You can eat out on Einstein: A restaurant is launching a new menu on the same day as Einstein’s birthday and on the 100th anniversary of the day he proved the Theory of Relativity. The Longford Inn Beefeater restaurant starts serving the new menu starting on March 14th and to tie the two events together guests can suggest innovative ideas for new dishes. Simon and Kerry Paine, joint managers at The Longford Inn said: “Einstein is renowned for his innovation and ideas, so we thought it would be a nice way to celebrate his birthday by asking our guests what they think we could add to the menu. Those with the best suggestions will win a meal for two on the house.”
The Citizen, 31st October 2015 – Hotel’s plans boost for jobs and tourists: Tourists visiting Gloucester could have more hotel rooms to choose from if major expansion plans get the thumbs up. The Longford Premier Inn wants to build a two-storey extension which would provide 30 new bedrooms and create eight jobs. The proposed extension would take up some of the car park at the Longford Inn, but there are also plans to provide 31 new parking bays.
Landlords at the Longford Inn include:
1950’s Gordon Axel
1973 Ivor Balchin
2000 Sam Mazza (manager)
2005 Simon and Kerry Paine (managers)