The New Inn, at the north end of the village, was trading in 1774. It was originally a row of three cottages that are all now part of the pub. This stone built pub has actually changed very little, although Whitbread changed the name to the Stirrup Cup in the 1970’s. In October 2002 the separate dining room and bar were knocked into one large open plan area.
Gloucester Journal: February 1789: Bisley – At the New Inn, on Friday, the 13th inst., will be a concert of vocal and instrumental music; where a full band from the Cheltenham Company will attend. After the concert there will be a ball.
The Citizen, Wednesday, November 30th, 1983 – Landlord Les calls time: One of the Stroud area’s longest serving pub landlords has at last decided to call time. Les Restall, who moved to the Stirrup Cup at Bisley with his parents more than half a century ago, has announced he will be retiring next year. Mr Restall (64) who took over the inn from his mother in 1957, said he was looking forward to drawing his pension, as well as to drinking as a customer in the pub. Mr Restall, and his wife Esme, have bought a house in the village and expect to give up the Stirrup Cup next summer. A very old Bisley family, the Restalls took over the pub in 1929. A builder in Bisley for 20 years, Mr Restall was also the local undertaker until about 10 years ago.
The Citizen, 21st November 1984 – Les takes time out: Well-known Bisley landlord Les Restall will be calling time for the last time as he retires from the Stirrup Cup at the end of the month.
“I reckon I serve a double pension, but I don’t expect I’ll get it,” joked long-serving Mr Restall, who is looking forward to a well-earned rest. The pub, formerly the New Inn, was previously run by Mr Restall’s father since 1929. Les took it over 27 years ago. As well as leaving the drinks trade, Mr Restall has retired from his other business interests – building and undertaking.
Pub regulars who have got used to Mr Restall’s company over the years need not worry. He plans to stay in Bisley and will doubtless drop in occasionally to see old friends on the “right” side of the bar. Retirement does not look like being a particularly restful affair. Mr Restall plans to devote more time to his hobbies of hunting, racing and cricket.
The Citizen, 31st January 1985 – Cyril gets the bird: When Cyril Pond drops into his local for a drink he usually has a bird on his arm – quite literally! For where Cyril goes, Polly the 11-year-old Amazon parrot goes too. In fact there’s nothing the green and yellow bird likes better than a trip to the Stirrup Cup pub at Bisley to swap a few words with friends and join in a song on the piano.
Perched on Cyril’s shoulder, Polly cuts quite a dash around the streets and in his favourite local. An accomplished talker, Polly – sex unknown but probably male – chats happily and joins in the jokes with a hearty chuckle. If someone decides to ‘tickle the ivories’ Polly perches on the piano and sings along.
“He’s definitely a one-man bird,” said Cyril who lives at Brownshill. True enough, it would take a brave stranger to make a grab for a bird with a beak strong enough to crack a walnut. Polly first came into Cyril’s life eight years ago as a surprise Christmas gift from his wife. Since then the bird has shown a remarkable attachment to its owner. It is quite happy to be driven in the family car or accompany Cyril on an outdoor stroll. But when Polly calls into the Stirrup Cup it does not do to ruffle his feathers. “Polly has pecked a couple of people in the past,” said Cyril.
Landlord Ron Salter, who took over the Stirrup Cup two months ago, admitted his surprise when Cyril walked in one night with the bird perched on his shoulder. “He is very well behaved as long as only Cyril handles him and he creates quite a lot of interest,” he said.
The Citizen, 15th December 1986 – Party Time, Thank You: Ron and Madeleine Salter, landlords if the Stirrup Cup at Bisley, near Stroud, are hosting a special party tomorrow night to celebrate the completion of a £30,000 refurbishment scheme at the pub. The Stirrup Cup, a traditional village pub, has been given its facelift by the brewery, Whitbread Flowers. The party is a “thank you” to all the customers who have put up with the inconvenience of the building work.
The work has resulted in a larger, more comfortable lounge area, with all the pub’s traditional character maintained. Mrs Salter said: “Some of the villagers were concerned that the pub would be spoiled by the refurbishment, but they are delighted with the results. We want to thank them for their support and patience by having a celebration evening.”
Well over £250 has been raised recently to support the Stroud Meningitis Trust with a draw, and the winning tickets will be picked tomorrow evening. Local resident, Jilly Cooper, the journalist and author is planning to join the celebrations.”
The Citizen, 22nd October 1999 – It’s last orders for Hunt: Half a century of tradition will be broken at Bisley when the hunt takes its departing tot of port at a local farm instead of the village’s aptly-named Stirrup Cup pub. For more than 46 years, riders with the Cotswold Hunt have begun their winter season’s sport with the obligatory nip of alcohol at the Stirrup Cup.
Cotswold Hunt senior master Bob Cooper said the move had been prompted by the increasing number of cars outside on the road where the horses gather, coupled with a larger following for the hunt itself. “Last year our people were blocking the road. We get anything around 40 or 50 riders and if an emergency vehicle needed to get through it would be very difficult. We don’t want to break traditions but circumstances have dictated that we just cannot go there any more.”
The Citizen, 20th February 2002 – Fears grow for couple’s safety: Fears are mounting for the safety of a Bisley couple whose sudden disappearance has stunned a village. Publicans Bob and Barbara Dorey of the Stirrup Cup Inn have not been seen since last Thursday when they left in their grey Jeep Cherokee to go shopping. Staff began to worry when they failed to return after two days and a suicide note was then found explaining that they couldn’t face growing old.
The couple sparked a nationwide police hunt and yesterday Mrs Dorey’s cousin Karen Shorts made a plea for anyone with information to call the police.
Stroud News & Journal, 6h March 2002 – Landlord’s body found? A man’s body found in the sea just off Calais is believed to be that of missing Bisley landlord, Bob Dorey. Mr Dorey, 60, and his wife Barbara, 59, who ran the Stirrup Cup pub, have not been seen since they went missing at 2.30pm on February 12th, leaving a suicide note. They were last seen at a bank in Stroud.
The man’s body was found on Sunday, March 3rd and documents found in the clothing suggest it may be Mr Dorey’s. Detectives from Stroud are now in contact with the Gendarmerie in Calais.
No other body has been recovered and the couple’s grey Jeep Cherokee is still missing.
The Citizen, 6th April 2002 – Pub couple’s car found near coast: Police have found the car belonging to Bisley pub couple Bob and Barbara Dorey who disappeared from the Stirrup Cup in February. The body of Mr Dorey, 60, was recovered from the English Channel near Calais, on Sunday March 3rd, but no trace has yet been found of Mrs Dorey, 59.
The couple’s grey Jeep Cherokee was discovered last Saturday on a road next to the beach in Selsey, Sussex. Acting Detective Inspector Geoff Brookes, who is leading the continuing search for Mrs Dorey, said of the Jeep: “The keys were still in the ignition and Mrs Dorey’s handbag, containing bank cards and a number of personal effects were found inside. It would appear that the vehicle had been there for five weeks and it had not been touched since initially being left.”
The Citizen, 29th May 2002 – Landlords made welcome: New landlords at a popular village pub are settling in to life behind a new bar and enjoying meeting regular and new customers. First to welcome Stirrup Cup landlords Andy Bayliss and Mary Clark to one of his favourite haunts was Leo Cooper, a well-known face in Bisley. The couple have set to work on sprucing up the pub and already have an extensive new menu up and running.
“We’re really happy here already,” said Andy. “People in the village have been very welcoming.”
The Citizen, Tuesday 1st October 2002 – Hundreds bid Les farewell: Hundreds of people filled the parish church in Bisley to say farewell to former publican Les Restall. Les, who was 83 when he died on September 23rd, was the second generation of his family to run the New Inn, later renamed the Stirrup Cup.
Les married his wife Esme in 1939 and was called up to join the Royal Engineers shortly afterwards. He fought in Aden, Greece and Italy and the couple did not see each other for four-and-a-half years. Les and Esme took on the licence of the New Inn after his mother Bessie retired, and ran the pub until 1984.
Les leaves his widow, Esme, children William, Suzanne and Christine, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Stroud News & Journal, 6th February 2008 – Letters: ‘Madam – Mary and I would like to thank all our loyal customers and friends at the Stirrup Cup, in Bisley, for all their custom and support during our tenure of the pub. We would, in a perfect world, like to have said goodbye to everyone personally but that was not possible. It was Christmas and New Year and we did not want to leave a bad taste at the time. It was hard work getting through the Christmas period and we would like to thank our staff who helped and supported us. To all our friends and staff, thank you.’
Andy, Mary and the boys
Formerly of the Stirrup Cup, Bisley.
The Citizen, 12th November 2008 – Season starts in traditional way: Hunt followers enjoyed a traditional stirrup cup when they gathered for the first time this season in Bisley. Riders and foot supporters raised their glasses and toasted the Cotswold Hunt before the pack moved off towards Througham and Edgeworth for their day’s sport. Joint master and huntsman Dominic Jones said nips of port and similar warming toddies were sipped when the Cotswold met at the Stirrup Cup pub in the middle of the village. “We were trail hunting and stayed out till about 4.30pm,” Mr Jones said.
Stroud News & Journal, 10th December 2008 – Stirrup Cup’s new look: Bisley’s historic pub The Stirrup Cup boasts a new look after undergoing a £130,000 refurbishment. The traditional Cotswold inn remained open during the renovations, which were funded by Enterprise Inns which owns the building. Visitors can now enjoy the newly decorated restaurant area and skittles alley, which doubles as a function room and has a new carpet and even a new roof. There is also a fresh lick of paint throughout the whole interior and exterior of the pub, with new signs and lighting to welcome drinkers from outside.
Landlady Mo McDonnell, who has run the pub with her daughter Emily and head chef Ion since the start of the year, said: “When we first came here in January the place was in quite a state and we had a lot of work to do before we opened in February. It really needed a new look and a new lease of life. Now it has a lovely, cosy, warm and relaxed feel to it.”
The Citizen, 18th March 2010 – Hooded burglar in my bedroom. Pub landlady Mo McDonnell has spoken about the terrifying moment she came face-to-face with a hooded burglar in her bedroom. The publican was asleep at the Stirrup Cup in Bisley when it was raided by two men. They fled. But her daughter’s boyfriends Matt Court and Pete Newman were in hot pursuit.
Ms McDonnell woke up to see one of the intruders at the end of her bed, shining a torch in her face. He and another man had searched the pub for cash. On the way downstairs the burglars smashed wine bottles against mirrors in a bid to stop barefooted Matt and Pete chasing them.
An empty cash till drawer was later found by a farmer outside the village. The till had a day’s takings in it. Money was also taken from the staff tips, a charity jar and a purse.
Stroud News, 17th November 2010 – Huntsmen enjoy Stirrup Cup: Cotswold Hunt members have gathered for their traditional snifter in Bisley. As they have done for many years, the hunt rode in for a drink known as a Stirrup Cup at the pub of the same name after it before trotting off into the surrounding countryside. Hounds and horses along with hunt supporters and followers filled the village’s High Street.
Stroud Life, 1st December 2010: Kim and Charlie Talbot took up the reigns at the Stirrup Cup last May and since then the business has taken off at a gallop. When Kim and Charlie had the opportunity to make it their own, they grasped the chance. “It had been dream of ours for a while to invest in a pub but we’d never plucked up the courage to actually do it,” said Kim, who was an education officer in Swindon in a previous life. “Charlie came home one day and asked if I still wanted to do it and it went from there. We were looking for a traditional pub in an attractive village and as soon ad I stepped into the Stirrup I knew that it was the one that I wanted. It was a dream come true for us both.”
Stroud Life, Wednesday 26th January 2011 – Pub rallies for heroes: A charity quiz night at The Stirrup Cup will give a deserved boost to injured British servicemen and women. The fun challenge will be staged at the Bisley pub at 9pm on February 4th.
Landlady Kim Chapman said she aimed to raise as much as possible for Help for Heroes.
Stroud Life, Wednesday 17th October 2012 – Shock as village pub closes doors (edit): In Bisley, the Stirrup Cup owners’ Enterprise Inns confirmed the pub’s last operators had left. But Enterprise would re-open the inn as soon as possible, a spokeswoman said. “We have a lot of interest in this pub.”
The Citizen, 17th January 2014 – Five star service on pub’s menu: One year after a thorough refurbishment The Stirrup Cup in Bisley has been awarded a five-star hygiene rating and ranked 4th out of 94 eateries in Gloucestershire on Tripadvisor. Owner Philip McLaughlin explained that the pub had gone from strength to strength.
Mr McLaughlin described its food as “home cooked and appealing to families”, locally sourced and completely traceable. The Stirrup Cup serves food and drink and has live music on the second Sunday of every month.
Stroud Life, 15th June 2015 – Cup of cheer at table (review by Victoria Temple): (edit) The Stirrup Cup in Bisley has the charm of an old-age village pub. But there’s a new team behind the bar and in the kitchen since we last visited a year ago. Julianna and George Lehr are offering a menu using quality locally-sourced ingredients just a touch above the usual pub fare.
Stroud News & Journal, 25th May 2016 – A growing success: It’s surprising how things change in a couple of months. New owners Charles and Lucy John, of The Stirrup Cup, Bisley, took the helm of this beautiful village pub back in December and each month it goes from strength to strength, locals having more faith that they have their local back and visitors to the area realising there is now another option for a light lunch, evening meal or just to pop in for a drink.
The bar areas are tastefully decorated with interesting pictures and curio and in April the restaurant area opened following a complete makeover to match, a large open fire place and wooden floors complete the picture and brings The Stirrup Cup back to its former glory.
Charlie and Lucy have, for a young couple, a wealth of knowledge and experience and are supported by their sister venue, The Falcon, Painswick, which is run by Charles’ parents Neil and Susan John.
Map Reference: SO 904061
Rateable Value 1891: £8.5s.0d.
Type of license in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1891: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Rateable Value 1903: £8.5s.0d.
Type of license in 1903: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Closing time in 1903:
Landlords at the New Inn / Stirrup Cup include:
1856 S. Morton
1885,1891 David Skinner
1902,1906 Harry Walter Skinner
1919,1927 William Ewan
1939 Gilbert and Mrs Bessie Restall
1957-1984 Les Restall (died 23rd Sept 2002 – aged 83)
1986 Ron and Madeleine Salter
2001-2002 Bob and Barbara Dorey
2002 (May) Andy Bayliss and Mary Clark
2008 Maureen (Mo) McDonnell and Steve Bridgman
2010 Kim and Charlie Talbot
2011 Kim Chapman
2014 Philip McLaughlin
2015 George and Julianna Lehr
2016 Charles and Lucy John