The Raglan Arms, on the corner of Regent Street and Conduit Street, once brewed its own beer. John Byrnes made ‘prime home brewed ales’ on the premises in 1873.The Raglan Arms was then acquired and rebuilt by Mitchell and Butlers of Birmingham. The pub maintained its allegiance with M&B and Bass breweries for many years.
At the beginning of the 1990’s it was purchased by Marston’s of Burton on Trent and for a few years was listed in the national CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Unfortunately the Raglan Arms began to slide into terminal decay when undesirable characters began to frequent the pub. Marston’s put the pub up for auction in 1995 but they failed to find a buyer. It closed down in May 1996 after a police raid when thousands of pounds worth of cannabis and three knives were seized. The pub re-opened in November of that year. Landlord Andel Clarke told the ‘Citizen’ in May 1997: “People seem to regard this solely as a black pub. This is not a black pub. I just happen to be a black person at the helm. This is a community pub. Tredworth is not all some people make it out to be. There is a stigma here about drugs and violence which does not reflect reality. I believe this pub has got potential. I just need more support to make it work.”
It finally closed in March 1998 and the Citizen newspaper proclaimed in their headline: ‘Drug-troubled pub has shut for good – good riddance, say locals.’ On the 4th June 2002 the derelict pub was set on fire but caused minor damage. The Raglan Arms was demolished soon afterwards. Three years later the site of the Raglan Arms was a dumping ground for old mattresses, fridges, building waste and other rubbish. An application was submitted to Gloucester City Council for the erection of a three-storey building comprising of fifteen flats. Local residents protested that the development would worsen parking problems in an already congested area. City planners later rejected the application.
Landlords at the Raglan Arms include:
1873 John Byrnes, proprietor – ‘prime home brewed ales’
1879 J. Byrns
1885 John Byrns
1893 T. Hemming
1902 John Toy
1906 Thomas Hemming
1907 J. Hemming
1919 Walter George Roberts
1927 Geo. Stanton
1936 G.W. Wilkinson (address 50 Regent Street)
1957 Thomas Sidney Andrews
1972 Raymond John Davies
1981,1984 Arthur & Edna Stride
1996-1998 Andel Clarke
Raglan Arms in form: 6th November, 1968: Raglan Arms Hotel in fine form so far this season, gained the week’s only ‘possible’ in the Gloucester Cribbage League, their victims being South section rivals Wellington Arms Inn (Raglan Arms Hotel 7, Wellington Arms Inn, 0).
The Citizen: November 8th, 1972: No colour bar in my pub – witness:
The Citizen: 4th May 1979 – Bristowe’s 16 opponents:
The Citizen: May 24th, 1983 – Pint-size slimmer:
The Citizen: September 13th, 1995: City pub up for auction – Tredworth: A Gloucester public house will go under the auctioneer’s hammer later this year if brewers Marston’s are unable to find a buyer for it. The Raglan Arms in Conduit Street will go up for auction on November 9th if there are no bids.
The Citizen: Saturday, November 11th, 1995 – Pub unsold: A public house in the heart of Gloucester has failed to find a buyer after being auctioned at, of all places, Manchester Airport. The Raglan Arms, in Regent Street, was put up for sale by its owners Marstons Brewery, but despite ‘a lot of interest’ it failed to sell at Thursday’s auction.
The Citizen: May 22nd, 1997 – Publican calls for local support: Landlord Andel Clarke says his efforts to turn a once notorious pub back into a worthwhile part of the community are being thwarted due to a lack of public support. Andel, who took over the Raglan Arms in Tredworth last November, has spent thousands of pounds on improvements to the Regent Street pub. He says the building is a very different place to what it was last May when it was closed down by Marstons Brewery following a police raid in which a large amount of cannabis was seized. But Andel claims his dreams for the pub’s future are being held back by the actions of some members of the community. He says the police are called whenever he puts on entertainments at the pub. “I have found that some of the community are very adverse to what I have been trying to do. They complain about the slightest noise and this is jeopardising the business. I am reluctant to put anything on because of certain people in the area who seem to think pubs should be the way they were in the 40’s and 50’s. I would be happy to spend money on sound-proofing the building to keep the sound in, but I cannot do anything until I get more people through the door.” Andel says he hopes to make his pub a place for the entire community. “People seem to regard this solely as a black pub. This is not a black pub. I just happen to be a black person at the helm. This is a community pub. Tredworth is not all some people make it out to be. There is a stigma here about drugs and violence which does not reflect in the reality. I believe this pub has potential. I just need more support to make it work.”
The Citizen: August 23rd, 1997 – Drug dealers back outside pub – claim: Drug dealers have returned to ply their trade outside a city pub less than a year after it reopened following a police drugs raid, worried residents claim. Brewers Marstons closed the Raglan Arms in Tredworth in May 1996 after police raided the pub, seizing thousands of pounds worth of cannabis and three knives. The pub reopened in November and new landlord Andel Clarke warned that anyone caught selling or using drugs in the pub would be barred for life. One nearby resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The time it was closed was the best bit of peace we have had here for 20 years. Some of us opposed the reopening on the grounds that within a short space of time the same problems would arise again, and that is exactly what seems to have happened. The landlord is a decent chap. The problem is the people who hang about outside. People know if they want drugs, they just have to turn up out there and wait. The council said they would take steps to prevent people from parking, but they haven’t. There is also a lot of late-night disturbance.”
Mr Clarke reacted angrily to the residents’ complaints. He said: “I have inherited their problem. I am doing a damn sight more than the residents who are quick to point the finger. I make sure whenever I am here there is no drug dealing going on. I am very angry about this. I am running a business and surviving the best that I can. How can they say this when they don’t come out and support the pub. If the residents had done what they are supposed to do in the beginning then there wouldn’t be this problem. Whether you are in an area of prostitution or drugs this is something we all have to live with. If they want to do something they should get off their backsides and do it. I am not here to do their dirty work.”
Police sergeant John Basford said: “We have had complaints about noise and vehicles parking in the street, but we get these problems at other pubs too. People sometimes make assumptions when people of certain races or colours gather in certain areas. Often these assumptions are completely unfounded. We will be carrying out operations in this and other areas as and when resources permit and when we have sufficient intelligence.”
The Citizen: Monday, February 23rd, 1998: Drugs problem pub closes doors again: The drug-troubled Raglan Arms has closed down for the second time in 18 months, and mystery surrounds the pub’s future. A security officer at the Tredworth pub said the premises in Conduit Street had closed in November of last year and the landlord had left the area. “I think this time the brewery wants to sell the pub and the previous landlord is thought to have moved to Birmingham, where he has business interests,” said the officer, who asked not to be named but who works for Southampton-based security firm Oceanhurst. The Raglan first shut down in May of 1996 after a police raid when thousands of pounds worth of cannabis and three knives were seized. The pub re-opened in November of that year with new landlord Andel Clarke vowing to keep the pubs drug-free. “I am concerned about the problem of people hanging around as anyone else,” he said at the time. “I want to work in conjunction with the council and residents and intend to install cameras so I can monitor what goes on, not only behind the bar, but outside too.” One Conduit Street resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, said today: “I am glad they closed the pub down again and hope this time that the brewery will sell it. Whatever anyone tries to do, there has always been a really bad drugs problem.”
The Citizen: March 13th, 1998: Drug-troubled pub has shut for good: The controversial Raglan Arms has seen its last days as a pub. It is to be de-licensed and sold, its owners confirmed today. Mystery surrounded the drug-troubled pub after it closed recently for the second time in 18 months. Now Marston, Thompson & Evershed Brewery has confirmed the pub will be taken out of action and turned into something else. Spokeswoman Sandie Gordon said: “The Raglan is closed and, in view of its troublesome history, we are not planning to re-open the house. Our plans are to de-license the property and place it on the market for other use. The police are in total agreement with the decision we have taken.”
The Citizen: May 18th, 2000: Troubled pub could be knocked down: The controversial Raglan Arms pub is up for sale and is likely to be demolished or converted into flats. The former public house in the Tredworth area of Gloucester has been standing idle since it closed down in March 1998 after years of trouble with drugs. Now the building is on the market with estate agents Naylor Powell. Richard Powell from the firm said: “I believe it has been standing empty since it closed as a pub. The intention is to get it for residential use on the basis of converting it into flats or demolishing it and having a new building. I think residential would be a good new use because it did have a bit of a history so this would be better for the area perhaps.” He said that there were two or three people currently interested in buying the property which is described as a ‘former public house with development potential’ and is on the market for £100,000.
The Citizen: July 6th, 2001 – Pub to homes plan blocked: Councillors have blocked a plan to knock down a Gloucester pub and redevelop the site with five houses. Negotiations will now take place between planning officials and Richard Shorting, owner of the Raglan Arms, which stands on the corner of Regent Street and Conduit Street in Tredworth. Members of the planning committee agreed that five terraced houses were too many for the site, the proposed gardens were too small and there was not enough off-street parking. They shelved Mr Shorting’s application for outline planning consent while talks are held. Planning Officer, Frances Chick, said: “The pub has been closed for some years and is a three-storey visual landmark on a prominent corner plot. The application seeks to establish the principle of housing on this site, of a design compatible with the surroundings. The five homes plan had two off-street parking spaces reached from Conduit Street. Councillor Andrew Gravells said: “This is over development. The gardens are smaller than our standard size and the parking is insufficient. We must negotiate a lower-density scheme.”
The Citizen: August 15th, 2001: Hearing on pub plans: A government inspector will decide the future of a landmark Gloucester pub. The Raglan Arms stands on the corner of Conduit Street and Regent Street, Tredworth, and has been closed for five years. Last month city councillors blocked a plan by owner Richard Shorting to demolish the pub and build five terraced houses in its place. They said the site would be overdeveloped, with not enough garden or parking space, and called for negotiations on a less intensive scheme. Michael Collins, who lives opposite, said: “We have double yellow lines along Conduit Street and Regent Street and parking in this area, especially in the evenings, is a nightmare. Another objector, Kydir Meah, said the three-storey houses proposed were too big and out of keeping with the neighbouring houses. Now Mr Shorting has appealed to the Secretary of State because the council had not decided the planning application in the required time. The appeal will be conducted by the Planning Inspectorate using written evidence.
The Citizen: June 5th, 2002: Pub blaze call out: Gloucester firefighters were called to tackle a blaze at a derelict pub. Two engines from the city fire service went to the scene of the incident at the former Raglan Arms pub in Conduit Street, Tredworth, at about 9pm yesterday. The crews had extinguished the fire, which caused minor damage, by 9.18 pm. They stayed at the scene for a further 15 minutes making safe.
The Citizen: Monday, January 13th, 2003 – Residents urge clean-up action over grot spot: How about this for a New Year resolution – get rid of Gloucester’s grot spots. With too many eyesores in Gloucester, residents want everyone to play their part in tidying up the city. One such spot is the former site of the Raglan Arms pub in Conduit Street, Tredworth. A bath, pipes, slabs of concrete, furniture and even a kitchen sink blight the area. Michael Davis is one of the residents who have called for a New Year Clean Up Resolution. He said the council must take more responsibility for the state of the city and the mess in Conduit Street would not be tolerated near the Cathedral. Mr Davis, 59, who is in the building trade, said the pub had been demolished in June but no one had been on the site in two months. Gloucester City Council does not have the power to deal with dumped rubbish on private land – at least at the moment. The Government is consulting with local authorities to give councils stronger powers to demand dumped rubbish is moved from private land. Marcus Grodentz, city council spokesman, said: “They could serve a notice to clear rubbish and if it is not cleared, the council could do it by default and charge. The city council would welcome a move in that direction.”
The Citizen: February 18th, 2003 – ‘Rubbish dumping is worse than ever’: The amount of rubbish being regularly tipped on the derelict site of the old Raglan Arms pub is getting worse, according to residents. Four weeks after Conduit Street homeowners called for a New Year Clean-Up resolution, the former pub site in Tredworth is still a fly-tipping hotspot. Now signs have appeared on the fencing, accusing the council of not being bothered about the mess, and one sarcastically suggests: “Please stack your rubbish in an orderly fashion.” The site, which is owned by property developer Richard Shorting, is littered with sofas, fridges, furniture, cardboard boxes, concrete slabs, and a broken car windscreen. A gap in the fencing makes it easy for people to get access. Mr Shorting said he had hired a reclamation company to clear the site but it had been “very sluggish in finishing the clearance of the site.” He added: “I do wish that people would call the police when they see people dumping the rubbish or try to take down their number plates so we can catch people. If it wasn’t for the nonsense of the appeal process the site would have been developed over a year ago. But I will look into making the site more secure.”
The Citizen: December 29th, 2003 – Appeal as plans for flats refused: A property developer has lodged an appeal after his application to build 15 flats was rejected against the advice of council officers. Churchdown-based developer Richard Shorting insisted that his scheme adhered completely to Government guidelines on inner-city development. He said: “The planning officers wholeheartedly backed the plan and the whole scheme falls clearly within the boundaries of planning guidelines. But for some reason, in this instance the committee decided to ignore the professional advice of the officers.” Mr Shorting had applied to build the flats on the site of the old Raglan Arms pub in Regent Street, Tredworth. City planners rejected the application on September 9th on the grounds that only two parking places were being provided for the 15 homes, risking increased traffic congestion. A report presented to the committee had recommended the application be accepted on the condition that new residents were encouraged to use alternative forms of transport.
The Citizen: September 11th, 2003 – Parking fears sink flats plan: Controversial plans to develop a block of flats on the site of a former Gloucester pub have been thrown out by city planners in a row over the lack of parking. Local residents and the Gloucestershire Ambulance Service lodged protests with the city planning committee over the scheme at the old Raglan Arms site in Tredworth. It would have seen the construction of 15 flats with only two designated parking spaces at the old Raglan Arms site in Tredworth. A report presented to Tuesday’s planning committee meeting recommended approval of the scheme, on condition that prospective residents were encouraged to use alternative forms of transport. However, the committee decided it could not frisk adding to congestion in the area and turned it down. Gloucestershire Ambulance Service was concerned that street congestion could cause delays costing vital seconds during emergency calls. A set of 10 conditions were recommended in the original planning report, including the provision of bicycles and secure bike parking bays for every flat in the three-storey complex. But this was not enough to allay the concerns of local residents. Churchdown-based property developer Richard Shorting, who owns the site, said he would be appealing against the decision, and insisted the scheme adhered completely to Government guidelines on inner-city development. “The planning officer said at the meeting that a public enquiry would find in our favour, so we will be following that course of action,” he said.
The Citizen: Thursday, July 15th, 2004 – Show of strength over plans to build 15 flats: Tredworth residents turned out in force to show their strong opposition for 15 new flats on waste ground at the corner of Regent Street and Conduit Street. Residents fear that the proposed flats will all be single-person dwellings and are planned to be sold to under-25s, will worsen parking problems in an already congested area. The plans have already been turned down by the city council on the grounds of parking problems, but the applicants took it to an appeal hearing. The result is expected in the next three weeks. An original application to build five houses at the former Raglan Arms site was also turned down, but was granted permission on appeal. Community leader and spokesman Ahmed Bham said: “The existing planning permission is for five dwellings, but now they want 15. The biggest issue in this area is parking, so building 15 flats with just two parking spaces is just going to exacerbate the situation. The community feels very strongly about it.” Mr Bham was leading a group of representatives from the city council planning dep[artment, the planning inspector who is hearing the appeal, and the developer himself, on a tour of the area to highlight the existing problems that he feels will only get worse if the development goes ahead.
The Citizen: Letters – June 1st, 2005: Raglan site is a health hazard: I live a couple of streets away from the Raglan Arms site and have seen it become an eyesore over the past months. I have sent several emails to the environmental health department, and always receive the same reply “we are in contact with the owner of the site and he has been instructed to clean up.” If this is the case why have they not pursued the owner as they would any other business flaunting hygiene regulations. I dread to think what lurks under the old furniture and fridges. I have great sympathy for residents who live closer to the site than I. Peter A. Clifton via e-mail.
The Citizen: July 5th, 2005 – Crackdown clears grotty ex-pub site: A grotspot in Barton and Tredworth has been cleared up after a crackdown by the city council. The former Raglan Arms in Conduit Street had become a dumping ground for building waste, furniture and other rubbish. But after complaints from residents about the mess, rats and the overall effect it was having on the area, planning officers took legal action against the owner. Now the site has been cleared and the fencing put back. On June 7th, a Section 215 notice was issued on the site owner at the Raglan Arms under the council’s planning enforcement powers. The notice requires the owner to tidy up land or buildings which are considered to cause harm to the look of the area. The owner had 28 days to comply but could have lodged an appeal to the magistrates’ court. Councillor Paul James, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The council has granted permission for a flats development of the site and I hope that this will start soon.” However, residents in Tredworth and Barton are concerned that building more flats in the area will make parking problems even worse.