It might be assumed that the Miners Arms was named after the coal mining industry in the Forest of Dean but the area between Bream and Lydney once had considerable iron mining activity. Mining for iron can be traced back to the Dark Ages.
Thomas Billy was the owner and occupier of the Miners Arms beer house in 1891 when he paid an annual rateable value of £12.0s.0d. The pub was trading free of brewery tie. In 1903, twelve years later, the ownership is recorded as being ‘The Representatives of Thomas Billy’, presumably Thomas had passed away in the intervening years and his estate was in the process of being distributed. William Camm is the occupier in 1903 when the rates were still set at £12 and the pub closed at 10 pm.
William Camm, the grandson of the licensee of the Miners Arms of the same name, wrote in his book ‘Bream through the Ages. Volume 1.’ (published in 1979). At the time the pub was trading as the West End Inn because of its location to the west of Bream. He wrote: “May I add a few lines as regards the West End Inn, the Miners Arms. This is now a Free House, and under the present owner it is undergoing restoration, especially to the lounge, which is now fast becoming a very up-to-date room and furnished somewhat in the style of modern inns, but giving an ‘olde world’ impression. It is quite interesting to see that the two old fashioned fireplaces have been uncovered – one at either end of the lounge – with quite large lintels. Possibly, my grandfather stoked these fires close on a century ago when he was the licensee.”
Western Daily Press: Friday 16th November 1979 – Landlord’s Double: Landlord Richard Bromage, and his wife Jan, have won their three-year battle with Whitbread Brewery to take over the Miners Arms, Bream, near Coleford, in the Forest of Dean. The couple held a joint celebration last night when they also handed over £1,100 raised by locals for the Cheltenham Cobalt Cancer treatment unit.
When the old Miners Arms / West End Inn was refurbished in 1979 it reopened as The Old Winding Wheel.
In 1994 the Olde Winding Wheel had been converted into apartments. The estate agent marketed the development as thoughtfully converted from the original Winding Wheel Public House, purchased after it had become redundant. ‘The building has been given a new lease of life as a much-needed, low cost housing for first time buyers in the village. The apartments are also suitable for retired accommodation. The development has only three remaining units, which will have a choice of bathroom colours and carpets together with double glazing, panelled inner doors and stained woodwork throughout. The one-bedroom units start at £27,970.’
Landlords at the pub include:
1891 Thomas Billy (owner)
1902,1905 William Camm
1910,1911 R. Screen
1914 Henry Wintle
1939 William Robbins
1939: Frank Cole (Miners Arms, Clearwell Meend)
1974,1979 Richard and Jan Bromage