There is an old photograph of the Westgate Street area of Gloucester taken in the Edwardian era when electric trams ran up and down the street. The photograph shows a tram trundling up Westgate Street towards the cross passing horse drawn carts, dragon and onion electric light standards, and canvas canopied shop fronts. The most prominent building in the photograph is the Theatre Vaults which has the large painted words ‘Godsell & Sons’ between the second and third floors and ‘Fine Stroud Ales’ immediately beneath above the first floor windows. The building appears to be plaster rendered with a triangular roof.
The pub was adjacent to the Theatre Royal which was described in 1903 as ‘one of the brightest, smartest and cosiest in the Empire.’ The Theatre Vaults must have been popular with actors, music hall artistes and other celebrities from the world of entertainment. Above the front door of the Theatre Vaults was the word ‘pit’ instead of bar.
The pub closed in the late 1950’s. The building is still standing and is easily recognised by its triangular roof. The ground floor has been converted into Reflections Ladies Hairdressers. Poundstretcher occupies the site of the old Theatre Royal. It is said that the Poundstrecher Store is haunted by actors of the past.
Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Landlords at the Theatre Vaults include:
1893 A.C. Williams
1902 William Appleton
1906,1939 Alfred Charles Williams
1957 Miss P.M. Williams (30 Westgate Street)