The address of the Red Lion was 229 Barton Street – almost opposite Clement Street.
The Red Lion closed in 1984. It was left empty and allowed to deteriorate for twenty years or so before it was eventually demolished. Shrubs were growing from the roof but, surprisingly, the West Country Ales ceramic plaque was left in situ. There was also a ‘Whitbread’ sign on the old building when it was bulldozed.
According to my drinking notes I drank a few pints of Whitbread PA at the Red Lion in the mid 1970’s before it closed. I have no recollections of the interior of the pub but I seem to recall there were etched Stroud Brewery windows still in place then. It seems likely that the windows were shattered by a shot gun blast in July 1977. (see below)
Gloucester Journal, August 23rd 1873: TO LET: The Red Lion Inn, Barton Street., Well Situated, with good shop and yard. Suitable for Butchers, Greengrocers, etc. Also, the Columbia Inn, Columbia Street – incomings £100 a year.
Gloucester Journal, April (11th?) 1887 – City Police Court: Mr Harris, of the Red Lion, Barton Street, was granted a special licence for Good Friday, on the occasion of a dinner to guards and shunters in employ of the railway companies.
Gloucester Journal, December 1890 – A young man named Francis Harris, residing at the Red Lion, Barton Street, Gloucester, met with a serious accident on Monday. He was employed in the boiler yard at the Wagon Works when by some means his head became jammed between two boilers, with the result that he sustained a severe fracture of the base of the skull.
The Citizen: October 30th, 1968 – Red Lion gain a ‘possible’: Cribbage – The only ‘possible’ of the week in the Gloucester Cribbage League was recorded by Red Lion Inn (Barton Street) in the East Section, where they appeared to relish the journey to Upton St Leonards. BMI (Upton St Leonards) 0 – Red Lion Inn (Barton Street) 7.
The Citizen: December 21st, 1971 (photo) – Mrs W. Hill, landlady of the Red Lion, Barton Street, Gloucester, presents Mr John Cantwell, chairman of the Standish Hospital League of Friends, with £60 on behalf of customers and friends.
Gloucester Journal, Saturday September 7th 1974 – Their Last ‘Time’: Regulars at the Red Lion, Barton Street, said farewell to landlord and landlady Bill and Winnie Hill, last week. The couple have been in charge of the pub for almost eight years and took it over after leaving the White Lion in Alvin Street. Together they have been in the trade for 15 years. Mr Hill has been a keen member of the LVA, and the couple have been consistent money-raisers for Standish Hospital. Now they have decided to call ‘Time’ and leave the trade. “It’s a nice pub and we shall miss our regulars,” said Mr. Hill, “They’re a great crowd.”
The Citizen: Saturday July 9th, 1977 – City pub gun blast mystery: The front window of the Red Lion pub in Barton Street, Gloucester, was shattered by shotgun blast last night. The pub had just been shut for about an hour when a car drew up outside someone got out, levelled a shotgun at the window and pulled the trigger. The car then made off at high speed towards the city centre. Landlord Mr Jim Budd said today: “The shot went through the window in a direct line to the till of the public bar where I am usually standing at about that time. Fortunately, last night I had run someone home to Cheltenham and had just parked my car at he back of the pub when I heard the shot. At first I thought it was a very loud backfire but when I went in my wife, Doreen said there had been an explosion in the pub. I looked round and found shot all over the public bar. There was a hole in the front window and through the curtains. It would have killed anyone standing in the way. The window is made of that lovely old etched glass and over a quarter of an inch thick. I think it took most of the impact because the shot I found was flattened. From the size of the wadding I found, I would think it was a 4.10 calibre.” My Budd said he could not think why anyone would want to do such a thing. “We haven’t had any trouble at the pub or had an argument with anyone. It is a mystery.”
Singers: Local pub landlord Jim Budd wants to make the lives of residents at Ermine House, centre for the physically handicapped in Gloucester, a little bit brighter with the aid of music. Jim of the Red Lion, Barton Street, is hoping to arrange a musical evening on Wednesday, October 24th 1979 with his friends. There is only one snag – a distinct lack of solo singers or duos to sing pleasant folk style songs. “Obviously, we don’t want loud bands down there, however good. Anyone who thinks they might be able to fill the bill should contact me at the pub,” said Jim.
The Citizen: October 4th, 2001. Bygones. Silver Darts competitors – (photo): Today’s picture takes us back to the late 1940’s and has been very kindly submitted by former Gloucester woman, Eileen Wixon (nee Gibson), now living in the attractive village of Broadway in Worcestershire. She tells us these darts players were members of the tea from the Red Lion in Barton Street and the picture was taken by a Citizen photographer at the final of the Silver Darts competition which the newspaper sponsored. Although they are looking apprehensive, the Red Lion went on to win the tournament and Eileen recalls her husband Ken (fourth from left) bringing home a silver tea caddy which she treasures to this day. Two others Eileen can identify are Tommy Barber on the left about to throw a dart, and Ted Ogden third from left. The team was captained by Eileen’s brother Sammy Gibson (not in photograph).
Landlords at the Red Lion include:
1830 William Bond
1856 Mrs M. Carter
1879 T. Bullock (Lower Barton Street)
1885 Harry Harris
1893 J.E. Cole
1902,1906 John Folley
1919,1939 James E. Cole
1957 P.G. Widdows
1968-1974 Bill and Winnie Hill
1977,1979 Jim Budd