In 1876 John Thomas Bowen is listed as stationmaster at Awre railway station on the South Wales section of the Great Western Railway. The station closed in 1959 and no trace of it remains today. There was once a junction here – the Forest of Dean Central Railway which ran from Awre Junction station to New Fancy Colliery to the north-west of Parkend. Awre Station, midway between Blakeney and Awre, was never well patronised so it seems somewhat surprising that John Thomas Bowen should be recorded in the 1903 petty sessional licences as a beer dealer in Awre Parish some 27 years later. The premises had no name and was restricted to a six-day licence closing at 11pm. Presumably it was closed on Sundays. Arnold, Perrett & Co. Ltd owned the property and supplied beers from their Wickwar Brewery. In 1903 the premises had an annual rateable value of £22.10s.0d. The premise licence was ‘Additional Beer Dealer (26 & 27 Vic., c.33, sec 1)’ was Awre railway station licensed or was there another property nearby? The custom in either case must have depended on just a handful of travellers either waiting for or disembarking from trains, so such sporadic trade would have made the trade challenging. Little wonder there is no mention of the premises after 1903.

To confuse matters further, contemporary with the above license, is a reference to a Poulton Inn. This also had a six-day licence, closing at 11 pm. Poulton Court is only a few yards away from the old railway junction at Awre. It seems unlikely that two pubs were trading at the same time in such an isolated rural position.

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