George Ford of Patchway contacted Gloucestershire Pubs and gave the following information and reminiscences of the Porters Stores:
“The premises were built about 1860 for a haulage and carrier business comprising two parallel buildings with a yard between. The part which protrudes into St. Mary Street was the stable block which had stalls for four horses and a tack room with a hay loft above. The part nearest the old police station was the coach house with living accommodation to the side and above. I have no information on the early years or the date when it became the Porters Stores but my grandfather James Ford took it over on March 18th 1911 from the estate of a William Underhill. The brewer was then Arnold Perrett. When my grandfather died my father Frederick George Ford took over on 2nd August 1921. The carrier business was disposed of then or just before.
The first time that I can find when the name changed to the Barrel is 25th March 1936 when the Cheltenham Original Brewery had taken over Arnold Perrett & Co. Cider was still delivered from Wickwar. Incidentally on that date the annual rent was increased from £15.12s.0d to £20.0s.0d.
During the Second World War because of petrol rationing pubs had to take their beer from the nearest brewery. The Barrel was then supplied by Georges’ Bristol Brewery who delivered it by steam lorry or horse drawn drays. Sometime before my father retired on June 24th 1956 Cheltenham Brewery amalgamated with the Hereford Brewery. I have no information from then until April 1983 when the Barrel was opened after a large alteration when the landlord was Geoff Stevenson. The alterations increased the size of the pub by covering in the yard and including the stable block. A stone arched doorway to the original coach house can now be seen in the bar. During another refurbishment in July 1997 Whitbreads wanted to change the name to ‘Ebenezer Rileys Old Coach House’ but the pub customers and Thornbury town council objected so it is still the Barrel.”
Owner in 1891: Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £20.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse
Owner in 1903: Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £20.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Porter Stores / Barrel include:
1859-1870 William Bevan
1870-1891 Thomas Pointing
1891,1898 Thomas Brown
1898-1900 Charles Underhill
1900-1903 Frederick Underhill
1903,1911 William Underhill
1911 (18/3) James Ford
1921(2/8) -1956(24/6) Frederick George Ford
1956-1964 Frederick Jones
1964-1969 George Price
1969-1973 Laurence Swift
1973-1979 Sydney Harris
1979-1982 Kenneth Ayles
1983-1986 Geoffrey Stevenson
1986-1989 Andrew Bawn
1989-1994 Geoffrey Leonard
1994-1997 Jeffrey Walker
1997-1998 Steven England
1998-2000 Simon Binding
2000-2001 Sally Benham
2001 David Dunne