Yate’s Forgotten Pub by Mr A.R. Senior: (from July 2006)
My memories of the Strawberry Gardens goes back to when I First came to live in Nibley as a schoolboy in 1939. It was a pub in Nibley positioned in the triangle bordered by Stover Road and Badminton Road, and can still be seen travelling from Bristol to Yate. Look left as you come down Mags Hill and across the fields and you can see a white painted building that was the pub. The landlords then were Len and Molly Dyer who lived with Len’s elderly Mother, and also their two young sons. Len at that time was still a working miner, as were several other Nibley men working in the mines at Coalpit Heath.
The brewery that supplied the beer was the Stroud Brewery, and the Wickwar Cider Co. supplied the cider. The pub consisted of only one room which had a scrubbed deal table, flagstone floor, a wooden settle and a couple of chairs in the window. Beer and cider were served straight from the barrels housed in the ‘cellar’, which was an adjoining room with a half stable door used as a bar.
On the rare occasion that a lady visited the pub, Dyer’s would allow her to sit in their own sitting room. In the summer months people would sit in the garden. When an order had to be made on the brewery, Len quite frequently came to my house, as we were one of the only families in Nibley with a telephone.
This reminds me also that the Strawberry Gardens did not have electricity, lighting was provided by oil lamps, although being a miner there were roaring fires in which pokers were placed during the winter to heat the cider.
My final memory is that the pub closed in the early sixties, the object being to provide a licence for a new pub to be built in the ever expanding Yate.
Map reference: ST 693827
Owner in 1891: Richard Chapman, Dursley Steam Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £19.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse
Owner in 1903: Thomas William Elvy, Dursley Steam Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £18.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Strawberry Gardens include:
1891 Samuel Squibb
1903 Edwin Hall
1939 Mrs F.M. Dyer (Len and Molly Dyer)