The White Bear in Bredon Road is just off the High Street to the north of the town. It is opposite the junction of Oldbury Road.
B. Linnell in his book ‘Public Houses of Tewkesbury Borough’ (1972) writes: “Viewed from any angle the White Bear has the appearance of a place that has never been completely finished. Bits have been added and taken away as successive owners have imposed their ideas upon the fabric. Fifty years ago  the open yard was an enclosed area surrounded by stabling and entered through a large wooden gateway. Inside the changes have been just as great. Yet the pub is only a little more than a century old. The existing accommodation for the public is one large ‘L’ shaped bar room, with the bar along the inside of the foot. Before 1964 there was an unsatisfactory layout of smaller rooms set back about a bar half way down the outside of the ‘L’, plus a parlour in the small room to the side of the front entrance. After the former were combined this parlour was retained until 1970 when it was incorporated into the living room of the tenant.”
The White Bear was the venue of the Tewkesbury branch of CAMRA ‘Winter Ales Festival’ from 1994 until 2004. It was held on the first weekend of February in the pub skittle alley. The popular CAMRA beer festival now takes place in the Watson Hall in Barton Street, Tewkesbury.
The White Bear was badly affected by the catastrophic floods on July 2007. Freak rain sent a deluge of surface water cascading into the pub and the level of water reached waist high. A great deal of structural damage was done and all the furnishings were ruined. At its height, the floodwater reached almost to the top of the ground floor windows. The restoration involved stripping the walls back to the bare brickwork. During the renovation work an old bread oven was discovered and a ‘Players’ Navy Cut’ cigarette packet was found on a beam in the pub. The White Bear eventually opened for business again on 1st December 2007.
Gloucestershire Echo, Thursday November 11th 2022 – Vacant pub could become offices in new bid. (by Robin Jenkins): A pub that dates back 155 years could be turned into offices. The White Bear in Bredon Road, Tewkesbury, is the subject of a planned conversion. But the developer behind it believes that alcohol could still be sold from a skittle alley next to the main pub building. Rob Davies, of Cotswold Property Developments Ltd, has submitted a planning application to Tewkesbury Borough Council.
A report within it says the pub, which has been closed since landlord Gerry Boazman left in March 2020, has been marketed but that nobody wants to take it on. Regular flooding of the site and the fact that it is away from the heart of the town are said to have put people off. Mr Davies proposes turning the main building into offices. As the building has often flooded in the past, he suggests the principle use would be on the first floor, with the ground floor being used for storage and/or ancillary utility space.
The report says that the separate skittle alley, which is operating as a bar on the first floor could be used more by turning it into a cafe / bistro during the day. It adds: “A targeted marketing campaign has confirmed that there is no interest in the existing business. An alternative use is therefore required to breathe life back into the buildings, so they can be restored back to their former condition and return to contributing to the local economy.”
“Use of the main White Bear building as offices is sequentially acceptable use and wholly compliant with development plan policy. Whilst its loss as a pub is regrettable, there are numerous other pubs and restaurants in the town providing many alternative venues for both locals and visitors. In any event, the skittle aley will remain as a pub selling alcohol. In addition, it will sell non-alcoholic beverages and food that will increase its viability to support this valued community use.”
The council aims to determine the application by January 9th 2023.
Map Reference: SO 895333
Owner in 1891: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £24.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £24.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the White Bear include:
1854 Mrs Vale
1867-79 William Westfield
1879,1880 H.T. Edwards
1885 Joseph Talbot Edward
1887 Charles Bevan
1887,1888 Thomas Wood
1888-1890 Mrs Sutton
1890-1892 Louisa Ashcombe
1892 Mary Ann Stone
1892,1893 Sarah Ann Brown
1893 Elizabeth Brown
1893-1894 George H. Abbott
1894-1895 William Jones
1895-1898 Charles Parker
1898-1904 John Goddard Roberts
1904-1906 Mrs Harriet Roberts (widow)
1905 William Roberts
1905 William Smith
1905-1906 Edward Smith
1907-1917 James Osborne
1917-1928 Henry Jones
1928-1931 Harry Gummery
1931-1936 John Mansell
1936-1947 Arthur H. Mustoe
1947-1964 Arthur Burton
1964-1967 Ivor Stephens
1967-1970 David McGowan
1970,1978 Alexander Warden
1978,1989 Harry Brooks
1989,1991 Gilbert Wellon
1991,1994 Dawn McGinley
1994 H. Stone
2007 Gerry and Jane Boazman