The Citizen, Wednesday 15th January 1975 – Man in pub row wounded: An argument in a pub about the relative qualifications of Irishmen and Jamaicans to live in England ended in a fight and a case at Gloucester City Magistrates; Court yesterday. The Jamaican (41) of 72 Norbury Avenue, Matson, pleaded guilty of maliciously wounding the Irishman in the Musket Inn on November 16th. Fining him £40 the presiding magistrate, Mr Frank Morris, said: “We think that you were seriously provoked but that did not give you the right to do what you did.” The court heard the Jamaican had struck the Irishman in the face with a glass, causing cuts that needed eight stitches.
In a statement the Jamaican said that he had been the only coloured regular in the Musket for five years and had always been welcomed until five Irishmen began to use the pub. “They said they were going to whitewash me, and that I was not fit to wear white man’s clothes and live in a white man’s country.
The Citizen, 12th September 1983 – Champion indeed: World billiards champion Rex Williams popped into Gloucester and broke the ice at a revamped pub. Mr Williams, world champion every year since 1968 bar one, set the cash tills running again at the redecorated Musket Inn, Matson Lane. He swapped billiards for bar room pool and was given a little help on the table by the lovely Musket, Mandy Edwards of Park Street.
Landlord Mr Joe Trigg, who will run the pub with his wife Barbara, said: “The place has improved beyond all recognition and we hope to have our regulars back along with new customers.” The bar is designed round the theme of old Hollywood favourite Stan Holloway’s monologue, ‘Sam Pick Up Tha’ Musket’. And the pool table is supplied by Mr Williams’ own company, Rex Williams Leisure.
The Citizen, Wednesday 19th April 1989 – Rolling out the barrel: A musketeer from the Napoleonic Wars heralded the re-opening of the Musket Inn, Matson after a £150,000 refurbishment by Whitbread Severn Inns. The pub has been closed for the past seven weeks while workmen carried out the facelift. There are two lounge areas and a bar, plus darts, a pool table and a skittle alley.
The Citizen, 26th May 1997 – Army folk called up for pub get-together: Former Regimental Sergeant Major Jan Westlake is putting out the call to all ex-Army men and their wives to attend a reunion in the city this week. Jan, who served for 25 years in the Devon and Dorsets and now runs the Musket Inn, Matson Lane, hopes to bring together people of all regiments who may have served together at some time and lost touch. Jan, who has been running the Musket Inn with his wife Margaret since March, will be providing a light buffet and some military games to help break the ice. He said: “When old soldiers get together, they talk about the old times, who they served with. All the war stories come out.”
The Citizen, Wednesday 22nd November 2000: Pub regulars raise cash for kids: Fancy dress, karaoke, a raffled ‘beer mountain’ and auction helped regulars at the Musket pub in Matson raise more than £1,200 for Children in Need. Landlord Cliff Owen – dressed as a monk – was joined by patrons Martin Turner and Ian Taylor in a sponsored head shave.
The Citizen, 21st February 2005 – Landlord had jaw broken by punch: A city pub landlord’s jaw was broken in two places when he was punched by a customer who was angry at not being allowed back into the pub after it had closed, a court heard. Then while on bail for the attack, the man, aged 40, of Lichfield Road returned to the pub and threw a pool ball, smashing the window.
The judge told the court that the man had 22 previous convictions for 108 offences, including numerous occasions of violence. He was jailed for 18 months.
The Citizen, 21st November 2005 – Skittlers score for charity: A charity skittles match to raise money for Cancer Research UK has collected more than £240. The event was held at the Musket Inn in Matson. It total the evening raised £247.44, which will all be handed over to the cancer campaign.
The Citizen, Thursday 23rd March 2006 – “We’d need Mike Tyson to run our pub”: Bosses at a troubled Gloucester pub which has been forced to shut say only former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson could sort out their problems. The Musket Inn in Matson Lane, Matson, has been closed for almost three weeks. The former landlord walked out after the pressure of managing the trouble-hit pub became too much to deal with.
Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, has since been trying to find a replacement landlord, but no one is willing to take the venture on. Jonathan Horcroft, regional manager for Enterprise Inns said: “The pub has had a history of trouble and it is true we are finding it very difficult to find someone to take over there. There has been quite a lot of interest, but I am honest and tell them about the situation and then they walk away. We’d need Mike Tyson to step in there to stop all the problems there. But that’s not realistic.”
Matson city councillor Stuart Wilson, said he had heard about the trouble at the pub. But he added: “I think there is a small number of people who have making trouble at the Musket. The area has had a lot of difficulty, but I really don’t think things are quite as bad as the brewery would like to say.”
The Citizen, 29th June 2009 – Housing for pub? A boarded up pub in Matson could be turned into affordable housing if planning permission is approved. The Musket Inn could become 13 family homes under the proposal put forward by Elim Housing Association which is a not-for-profit developer. Residents said they are pleased something is being done to smarten up the area.
The Citizen, 8th May 2010 – Pub still standing: A Matson pub is still standing firm despite previous plans to demolish it. Diggers were due to move in on the empty Musket Inn last week to pull it to the ground paving the way for 13 new homes. However, the pub is still standing. In 2006 the bosses at The Musket said the pub was so run down it would take former world heavy-weight champion Mike Tyson to sort out the problems. The pub closed in early 2009, and it is believed the demolition will take place in the very near future.
The Citizen, 19th June 2010 – Time called at empty inn: Cranes moved in to finally call time on the Musket Inn in Matson. The pub, which had been empty for more than a year, was pulled to the ground by diggers. The heavy machinery was called into the Matson Lane pub on June 10th. Julian Hiles, chairman of the Matson and Robinswood Residents’ Association, said: “I am pleased to see it finally brought down but I’m sorry to lose the pub.”
The Citizen, 14th January 2012 -Moving in day at £1m new homes: Thirteen affordable homes worth almost £1 million have been built on the site of a former pub in Matson. The properties in Musket Close and Culverin Close, were officially opened yesterday by the head of England’s National Housing Federation, David Orr and Gloucester MP Richard Graham. The properties are built on the site of the former Musket Inn and the first tenants moved into their new homes in time for Christmas 2001.
The two, three and four bedroom houses in Matson Lane, have been built with sustainability in mind. Each home has special fuel and water saving features such as high levels of insulation and solar panels.
Landlords at the Musket Inn include:
1957 William Dyer
1963-1966 Russell (‘Blondie’) and Doreen Head (moved to Kings Head, Norton)
1980 Ron Smith (manager)
1985-1989 Joe and Barbara Trigg (from the Seymour Inn – moved to the Yew Tree Inn, Dursley)
1997 Sgt. Major Jan Westlake
2000,2004 Clifford Owen
2006 Enterprise Inns were owners