Jane Jones was the owner and occupier of the Sawyers Arms in 1891. It was an alehouse and traded free from brewery tie. The annual rateable value is not given in the licensing book of that year.
In 1903 the Sawyers Arms was owned by Thomas Elvy’s Dursley Steam Brewery. It is interesting to speculate how the beers were transported from the Dursley brewery across the River Severn to Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean. A road journey would have necessitated taking the casks of beer by horse drawn dray first to Gloucester, and then onwards into the Forest of Dean. This would have been a circuitous and time-consuming route and the beer might have not been in the best condition by the time it finally reached the Sawyers Arms. It is more likely that the beers were transported by rail. Elvy’s beers could have been loaded onto a train at Dursley, taken up the branch line to Coaley Junction, and then transferred to another train travelling the Berkeley to Lydney line across the Severn Railway Bridge. Once at Lydney Junction the beers would have travelled up the present Dean Forest Railway line and, ultimately to Lydbrook Junction station. The rail journey from Dursley to Lydbrook was certainly not direct and it would have involved manhandling the casks of ale on and off the trains several times. It must have been labour intensive and an expensive way of supplying Dursley brewed beer to the Sawyers Arms in Lower Lydbrook. Perhaps it is not surprising that Elvy’s Brewery went bankrupt in 1906!
The Sawyers Arms was sold by auction on Wednesday October 15th 1930 at the Courtfield Arms Hotel. The particulars of sale stipulated that the property was a “brick-built (cement faced) Freehold Detached Dwelling House formerly known as the Sawyers Arms Inn”. The property consisted of an entrance porch, hall, three sitting rooms (one formerly the bar), four bedrooms, kitchen, larder, back kitchen, wash-house with copper and outside W.C.’s. It also had a large garden and the property was ‘wired for electric light’. Vacant possession was available on completion of purchase.
The property has been in residential use for many years and it is difficult to imagine that it ever traded as a public house, but it still retains the name the Old Sawyers Arms.
Landlords at the Sawyers Arms include:
1876,1885 Thomas Jones
1891 Jane Jones
1902,1903 Oliver Carpenter
1906 Joseph Carter
1919 Frederick Jones
1927 William Tompkins