2 London Road in 1939.
The Northgate Hotel was an Ind Coope & Allsopp tied house during its latter years. This might suggest that it was once owned by A.V. Hatton & Co. of nearby George Street who traded as the Northgate Brewery. Hatton’s Northgate Brewery and their tied estate were acquired by Ind Coope.
The Northgate Hotel was demolished in 1980 and the site of the pub is now part of the city inner ring road in Bruton Way.
The Northgate Hotel was opposite the Black Dog Inn. Both pubs were popular with farmers and market traders when the Gloucester Cattle Market was held nearby.
There was great excitement in Gloucester on August 27th, 1948, when Bertram Mills Circus came to town, and the elephants paraded from the railway station to the showground in Westgate. All the animals wore advertising blankets urging people to buy National Savings.
The above photograph shows the Gloucester Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) outside their headquarters at the Black Dog pub in London Road. The Northgate Hotel forms the backdrop of the image.
Gloucester Journal, 22nd January 1972 – Former licensees wed 50 years: A couple who spent more than 30 years in the licensing trade and were two of Gloucester’s best known publicans until their retirement eight years ago, celebrated 50 years of married life at the weekend. Mr and Mrs A.L. Harris, probably better known to regulars at the Northgate Hotel as Bert and Doll. They took over their first public house in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight and after a few years returned to Gloucester where Mr Harris was born, and became manager of the Northgate. As war broke out they again moved, this time to Clevedon, to look after the running of the Bristol Hotel, but decided to return to Gloucester when the licence of the Northgate became available once more.
The Citizen, 6th January 1973 – Hysterical wife’s revenge on hotel: A tug-of-war developed between a man’s liking for an hotel and his wife’s affections, Gloucester City Magistrates heard today. Mrs Dorothy Foley did not mind her husband going out for a drink in normal licensing hours but she objected to him staying at the hotel after closing time, said her solicitor, Mr Stanley Pritchett. She built up a hate for the hotel, The Northgate, in Northgate Street and one night when she was returning home with her son in the early hours she saw a light on in the hotel and assumed her husband was there.
She became hysterical, lost control of herself and smashed six windows at the hotel causing £371.82 worth of damage. Mrs Foley (49) of Sandyleaze, Gloucester, admitting wilfully damaging the windows. She was given a conditional discharge for a year and ordered to pay £25 costs.
Mr Roger Fry, prosecuting, told the court that a barmaid at the hotel heard someone knocking on a window and the bell ringing. Mrs Foley was there shouting for the landlord, Mr Thomas Kelly, to come out. Mrs Foley’s husband was staying at the hotel at the time, added Mr Fry. The barmaid then heard the sound of breaking glass and rang the police. When the police arrived Mrs Foley, who was very worked up, took off a shoe and began to hit a window, shouting that she wanted her husband. The police tried to restrain her but she took off the shoe again and tried to break another window, continued Mr Fry. She later told the police: “I just became mad.”
Mr Pritchett said his client was divorced many years ago and had had a hard struggle to bring up her children. She married again and her second husband, Mr Foley, had been a lodger at the Northgate Hotel. It was then that the ‘tug of war’ began, continued Mr Pritchett. Mrs Foley thought the landlord was encouraging her husband to stay at the hotel and at one time spoke to him about it.
On the night the damage was caused, everything welled up inside her, said Mr Pritchett, and she lost control of herself.
The Citizen, Wednesday 7th November 1973 – Broke hotel windows “to save marriage”: Mrs Dorothy Foley was yesterday ordered to pay £305.43 for the cost of repairs to windows she smashed at the Northgate Hotel, Gloucester. At Gloucester County Court Judge Anthony Bulger said “It was an expensive evenings work,” but Mrs Foley replied “It was good value for money.”
Earlier Mrs Foley, of Sandyleaze, Gloucester, told the court that she did the damage to save her marriage. She alleged that the landlord, Mr Thomas Kelly, broke the law by serving customers until 2 am. Judge Bulger said provocation was no defence as it was a civil action concerning the cost of repairs to the windows.
Mr Kelly, of the hotel in London Road, said three windows on the Market Parade side of the pub, and one embossed window on the London Road side had been broken. The total claim was for £305.43, including VAT.
The Citizen, 15th June 1979 – Action to end traffic chaos: A machine moved into George Street, Gloucester, today, to begin demolishing the building which has caused the closure of the street – and traffic chaos for nearly a week. Acting under its emergency powers to remove unsafe buildings, the City Council this morning accepted a tender to demolish a major part of No’s 2 and 3 George Street, which is owned by Ind Coope, the brewers.
Mr Michael Matthews, assistant chief executive of the City Council, said George Street should be open again by Monday morning. “The council and owners accepted a tender this morning and work should start later today. They will demolish part of the building and make the rest safe. The cost of this work will be borne initially by the ratepayers and recovered later from the brewery,” he added.
George Street was closed last Sunday after police became alarmed over the demolition of the Excelsior Inn, which is next door to Nos 2 and 3. City Council surveyors who examined the adjoining hotel annexe declared it to be unsafe and closed the road. With a vital stretch of the city road network closed rush hour traffic chaos followed.
The Excelsior Inn is owned by Gloucestershire County Council and is being demolished to make way for the Inner Relief Road. The County Council is still negotiating terms for the purchase of the Northgate Hotel.
The Citizen, July 1980: Workmen demolishing the old Northgate Hotel in Gloucester found an ammunition belt with over 50 rounds of live bullets just before the building was knocked down to make way for a new inner ring road.
The Citizen: Letters, 26th August 2013 – Live bullets in Northgate roof’: I was very interested to see the photo of the Northgate Hotel just before demolition taken by Elvin Young. I immediately remembered that as the roof was demolished they found a hoard of live 303 bullets. If my records are correct the ammunition was found at about 3.30am, the date was 12th July 1980. Malcolm Bell, Churchdown.
Landlords at the Northgate Hotel include:
1870 James Hall Farmer
1870 Elizabeth Murphy
1885 Richard Schollar
1893 T. Gillson
1906 Samuel Brough
1919 Frank K. Halse
1927 Frederick G Price
1936 T. Collerick
1939 Albert Lionel Harris
1973 Thomas Kelly