The Red Lion is located on the village Crossroads and has a history dating back to 1782.

Courtesy Michael Wilkes

The Citizen, Friday 26th August 1983 – Slippery pole champ: There’s an elite group of eleven champions in the county and on Monday a 12th name will be added to the list. On August Bank Holiday Monday the Red Lion pub at Arlingham will brush the year’s cobwebs off an old telegraph pole, cover it in grease and the battle will be on to find the 12th annual slippery pole champion.

Throughout the day contenders, armed with pillows, will sit on the horizontal pole and try to push their opponents off. It’s the centrepiece of a Bank Holiday tradition started by the former owners of the pub and continued this year, for the second year, by landlady Lucie Swainson and her son, Tim.

Apart from the contest there will be sideshows such as a spinning jenny and white elephant stall and there will also be skittling for a fresh Severn salmon. In the evening there will be a disco at the pub which will round off the festivities.

The Citizen, 26th May 1984 – The one-wheeler publican: Regulars at Tim Swainson’s pub in Arlingham could be forgiven they have had one too many when they see him set off for a cycle ride. for 29-year-old Tim, who runs the Red Lion with his mother, would look more at home in a circus ring on his new bicycle. It is a precarious on-wheeler, a unicycle normally seen beneath the agile from a trained performer, rather than a country publican.

“I was on my way to Stroud Leisure Centre one day when I saw it lying in the window of a second-hand shop,” said Tim. “It was something I had always wanted to try as a kid, so I bought it on impulse. But when I tried it for the first time I quickly came a cropper – it is a lot harder than it looks. It has taken me about six weeks of self tuition to master it properly.”

Now Tim thinks nothing of using the machine to pop up to the village shops. He said: “It’s a lot more convenient than an ordinary bike and you can carry it around the shops with you instead of risking it being stolen.”

The Citizen, Monday September 3rd 1984 – Red Lion landlord pedals off: Severnside pub landlord Tim Swainson, who has been entertaining his regulars with his antics on a one-wheeled ‘unicycle’ will soon be pedalling off the pastures new. After two and a half years at the Red Lion, Arlingham, Mr Swainson is moving further south and west to try his hand at the hotel trade.

With his French-born mother Lucie, Mr Swainson plans to invest in a small hotel in the Torquay area. “The people here are very easy to get on with and we have made lots of friends,” said Mr Swainson, who will draw his last pint at the Red Lion on Wednesday.

As well as learning to ride the unicycle, Mr Swainson has also been involved in another activity requiring a sense of balance. During his time at the Red Lion, he has been a great supporter of the traditional pillow fighting competition held every August Bank Holiday Monday, when contestants try to knock each other off a wooden pole.

The Citizen, 6th August 1999 – Pub joy for village drinkers: Arlingham drinkers who were left high and dry after their two village pubs closed down will soon have a reason to raise their glasses. The Red Lion in Arlingham, which closed down in April, will be reopening later this month.

Local couple Easton and Alison Hogben plan to reopen the Red Lion in the next few weeks after giving the pub a facelift. “We are going to do a bit of redecorating down there first,” said Mrs Hogben, who runs four other pubs in the area. “We are aiming to reopen within a month.”

Mrs Hogben said they hope to keep the skittle alley open and are looking for teams to use it. John Burcher, chairman of Arlingham parish council, said the reopening of the Red Lion was just the news villagers wanted to hear. “I welcome their arrival in the village and I hope they are very successful – the pub has been closed for long enough,” he said.

The Citizen, 6th June 2003 – Diners tuck in to rook supper: Even the four and twenty blackbirds of nursery rhyme fame weren’t enough to bake beneath the pie when a Gloucestershire landlady served up her unusual pub supper. Instead 150 rooks were cooked with other gamebirds to satisfy the hungry customers at the Red Lion in the Severn Vale. The breasts of the treetop fledglings were marinated and mixed with pigeon, pheasant and other meats for the seasonal rook supper at the pub in Arlingham near Stroud.

Landlady Janet Codner said: “It was my head chef Jenny Waring’s idea. She said it was traditional in the countryside. “The rooks are born in May and I believe it is only legal to shoot them for two days. We had 150 from the Badminton House estate. Thankfully they came plucked.”

Three large pies were ceremonially paraded last night before being served to over 40 diners. Mrs Codner said: “I think rooks are like vermin. I believe they shoot them because they can kill a crop in days.” The county’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warden Ivan Proctor said, however, that only landowners and other authorised people could kill the agricultural pests.

Image: The Citizen

The Citizen, 27th June 2013 – Village buys £225k pub: Villagers have picked up the keys to a historic pub which thy have tirelessly fought to save from closure. The majority of people living in Arlingham have pitched in to buy the Red Lion for approximately £225,000.

Resident Edward Davies launched a campaign to buy the Grade II listed building, which was due to be sold at auction by Enterprise Inns. Edward set a plan of action, which he hand delivered to Arlingham’s residents, inviting them to a meeting at the beginning of the month, just two days before the auction. In a matter of hours more than £100,000 had been transferred into his account. Villagers were invited to buy shares from a company, called Red Lion Arlingham Ltd, which was set up by Edward.

There are now five directors of the pub including Edward and Chris Thompson. Chris said: “Residents feared that the pub would be bought by developers. The pub is in the heart of the village. It sits on the crossroads. We collected the keys yesterday afternoon. Many residents are now shareholders and they have elected five directors.”

The future looks bright for locals, as refurbishments will be under way soon. The directors will soon make a decision on who will run it.

Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday November 6th 2013 – True village pub open for business: (by Kate Wilson)

Villagers who raised £300,000 in 48 hours to save their only pub enjoyed their first drink at the establishment this week. The Red Lion in Arlingham opened its doors again on Friday – just five months after a group of villagers bought it for £225,000 only days after a plan was set in motion to stop the premises being put up for auction.

New landlords Nick and Jo White have always wanted to run a pub, and when they visited Arlingham for the first time four months ago they knew it was the right fit. “We have both worked in the pub business all over lives,” said Jo, who met Nick in their own village pub in Hinton Blewett near Bristol over 20 years ago.

The couple, who have two daughters, Sophie (21) and Casey (12) said they were making the decision to become landlords at the right time. However, there was a worry about running a pub which was owned by the villagers who will be drinking in it. “There are a lot of people who have a stake in this place and we were worried there would be a line of shareholders coming into the pub and telling us to do things their way,” said Nick.

“However, everyone has been so supportive of us and our ideas and they are happy to let us run the pub as we see fit. The fact these villagers have worked so hard to save their pub shows us they want the place to succeed, and with our focus on great food, great drink and great service we hope this will be a recipe for success,” said Nick.

Nick and Jo White

The Dursley Gazette, Thursday March 5th 2015 – Top award for landlord. Pub landlord Nick White is celebrating winning an award just over a year after taking charge of the Red Lion in Arlingham. The popular pub has bagged the Campaign for Real Ale’s Rural Pub of the Year for CAMRA in Gloucester.

Nick said he was really proud of the team that had helped the pub become such a success. He and his wife Jo moved to Arlingham from Bristol 18 months ago and took over the pub in November 2013. After the Red Lion had failed under previous owners, it was bought by residents in the village and reopened by the couple as a free house. “It went fairly smoothly,” said Nick. “We really got off the ground straight away. It’s a community owned pub so we’ve had great backing from the village. We’re just doing our best to take the pub from strength to strength.”

Map Reference: SO 708109

Licensing Details:

Rateable Value in 1891: £19.5s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1891: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud

Rateable Value in 1903: £10.5s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud

Owner in 1928: Stroud Brewery

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Owners in 1999: Quality Inns of Gloucester

Landlords at the Red Lion include: (with thanks to Jon Shaw)

1782 Henry Carter

1802 Thomas Carter

1820’s B. Reece

1830’s Betty Fryer

1845,1856 Joseph Fryer

1853 Jesse Vimpany

1860 John Varney

1870 George Markey

1880,1885 Daniel Hayward

1885 Albert Symonds

1889,1891 Henry Clayfield

1891 Jim Wilkins

1894 Jim Sendall

1900 James Proctor

1901,1903 George Ashby

1906 Edmund Gabb

1927,1939 John Stevens

1944 Albert Daw

1952 Ernest Wager

1964 Stan Browning

1966 Bernard Boulton

1969 Ken Bale

1973 Coin Broadbent

1976 Brian Davies

1978 John Large

1981-1984 Tim and Lucie Swainson

1986,1987 Ernest, John and Alan Packman

1995,1998 Robert and Janice Jones

2000 Easton Hogben

2000 Alison Jones (manager)

2001,2005 Janet Codner and Nick Hopson

2007 Rebecca and Karen Clutterbuck

2010 Doug and Julie Bentley

2011 Les & Danielle Pipes

2013 Nick and Jo White

2016 Dean Cooper

2017 Mark Roberts

2022 Mark Redwood

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