Bridgwater’s old pubs

Some of the regulars at the Mariners’ Arms on a day out

Looking back: memories of the Mariners’ Arms in Bridgwater. A feature written By Harry Mottram for the Bridgwater Mercury in April 2016.

THE series of stories about the pubs of Bridgwater Band district inspired by the researcher Jane Penfold has prompted Trevor Crook to write in with memories of the Mariners’ Arms in Northgate, Bridgwater.

He writes: “It was interesting to read the letter sent by Mike Taylor, who I know, about his parents’ times at the Golden Lion and Lime Kiln, in particular the dates he referred to. My step-father was Dennis Bell-Langford, whose mother, Mrs Maria Bell-Langford, was I believe, the last licencee of the Royal Oak in West Street when it closed in 1925.

“My grandparents Maria and Albert (Sam) moved to the Hope and Anchor on the riverside and from there to the Mariners Arms in Northgate. My father Dennis became landlord of the Mariners when they retired, until it closed. The licence was surrendered in 1962.”

Mr Crook said that the book Bridgwater Inns Past and Present by Dave Williams published in the 1980s there are photographs of the Hope and Anchor. One of them he said shows a picture of his grandfather with his father sitting on his lap with another picture showing his grandparents outside the Mariners Arms. He said the licence at the Hope and Anchor was surrendered in 1961 and the last tenant was G Pole.

Two of the regulars at the Mariners’ Arms in the 1960s (plus dog)

He continued: “When the Mariners Arms closed, there was a short break before my father took the licence at the Beaufort Arms in 1961, taking over, if I remember rightly from Tommy Hawkes. When we left in 1968 to take over at the Malt Shovel where we stayed until December 1974, the licence at the Beaufort went to Tony and Sylvia Prowse.

“The previous landlord of the Malt Shovel was Morny Washer and after my parents retired from the trade, there were a number of couples involved at different times running this pub, to name a few, John and Dorothy Tyler (former managers of the Harvest Moon), Trev and Jayne Watts and more recently Nora Lewis and her partner Neil Tucker.”

The Mercury has passed on this and other information to Jane Penfold who has continued her work and we welcome more memories of pubs in the area.

Whether your memories are from way back in time or in the last ten years then do write in with pictures if you have them by email at: to Harry Mottram.

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