Gloucester Journal: February 1887: To Let, Ship Inn, On the Quay. Incoming Low. Apply Thomas Allen, Quay, Gloucester, or Arnold & Co.

The earliest reference that I have is of the Ship Inn is from the 1830 Pigots directory. However, it was obviously trading before that. At one time it was a tied house of Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery. When the Quay area was redeveloped the Ship Inn was completely rebuilt. The replacement building was of brick and concrete construction and symmetrical in design, apart from a single storey extension to the right of the property.

The Ship Inn on the Quay was the venue of the Gloucester Folk Club in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Some well-known contemporary artists from the folk scene performed there in the back room. I would have particularly liked to have seen Nic Jones play there in June 1971. A very talented singer, guitarist and violinist whose career was tragically cut short when he was involved in a serious car crash when returning from another gig at a folk club in Glossop, Derbyshire, a few years later. Gloucester Folk Club then moved to the Royal Hotel in Station Road.

Below are just some of the gigs at the Ship.

Dave Burland – Friday, 18th October, 1974

Martin Carthy –  Friday, 8th September, 1972

Bob Davenport – Friday, 9th June, 1972

Robin Dransfield – Friday, 3rd May, 1969

Eddie & Finbar Furey  – Friday, 10th December, 1971

Bob Hellon – Friday, 26th May, 1972 (stood in for Dave Burland who was ill)

Jack Hudson – Friday, 25th January, 1974

Nic Jones – Friday 18th June, 1971

John & Sue Kirkpatrick – Friday 8th February, 1974

Barry Skinner – Friday, 2nd April, 1971

Bob Stewart – Friday, 5th January, 1973

Cyril Tawney – Friday, December 6th, 1968

Martin Windham-Reade – Friday, 4th February, 1972

When ex landlord James Mawson died in September 2002, aged 82, his widow Dot said that the Ship Inn was a ‘character pub with all sorts of different nationalities, and we had folk singers and jazz musicians. It was a happy time for us both.’ Gloucestershire County Council later acquired the premises. There were plans to demolish the Ship Inn and build new magistrates courts on the site.

The Citizen: Thursday 31st May, 1984 – Publican quits: Well-known Gloucester publican Jim Mawson has quit the trade after 30 years – and the owners have temporarily shut the pub he worked in. Whitbread Flowers closed the Ship Inn, by the Quay, after Mr. Mawson told them he could no longer continue trading. He has now left the district and is believed to be living in Ross on Wye. The company are now considering the pub’s future. A spokesman said: “It’s impossible to say what the outcome will be.”

The Citizen: 7th November 1984 – Ship Inn to become offices: County Council staff could soon be ‘crewing’ the former Ship Inn on the Quay at Gloucester. The council’s property department has agreed terms with Whitbreads to buy the pub which has been closed for many months and the county council has applied for a ‘change of use’ from pub to offices. A spokesman for the property services department said: “We have wanted to buy the pub for years, because it falls within our general site. It will enable us to sell off some of our outlying offices and make more efficient use of the main site.” The council estimates that 30 people could be accommodated in the old pub.

The Citizen: Friday, January 4th, 1985: Plan opposed. The County Council plan to turn the former Ship Inn at The Quay, Gloucester, into offices has been opposed by the City Planning Committee which feels that the site should be retained as an amenity area to help boost tourism in the Gloucester dockland.

The Citizen: February 27th, 1985 – New use for former pub: The former Ship Inn, on the Quay in Gloucester, could become the new base for the growing Enterprise Agency, currently based in Westgate Street. It could also house a Co-operative Development Agency and a tourist information centre under plans by Gloucestershire County Council to change the use of the property to offices. The projects were outlined to the City Council’s planning sub-committee last night which accepted the change of use on condition that there was no car parking in front of the former pub and the area was landscaped.

The building has now been demolished.

Landlords at the Ship Inn include:

1830 John Halling (?)

1856 S. Warren

1879,1885 Thomas Allen

1893 M. Robertson

1902 George Moulder

1906 Mrs Anne Humphries

1919,1927 William Price

1936,1939 William Albert Wright

1953-1984 James and Dorothy (Dot) Mawson

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