By Harry Mottram: Those who pass through Shipham on a regular basis will have noticed the Penscot Inn – the pub on the village green in the Square – has had a name change. It is now called The Shipham Inn. A temporary banner proclaims the name change which was registered with Companies House on December 16th, 2023.

Previously the pub was registered as Penscot Inn Shipham Limited which was incorporated in November 2022 under the name of Graham Andrews as the officer – who remains as the landlord of the newly renamed pub.

In a post on social media the pub announced: “New Year! New Start! New management! New Name! We are so happy to announce we have officially changed the name of the beloved The Penscot Inn back to its original The Shipham Inn! We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the last year we have been here and wish to make more memories with everyone who visits! Don’t forget Wednesday 21st is our Quiz night starting at 8pm we do advise to be here from 7:30pm to get drinks and teams ready! Here to the new year’s, The Shipham Inn team.”

One interesting development which may or may not account for the change of name is a story in The Mendip Times – the free monthly glossy magazine covering the area – which stated that the Penscot Inn owed the publication money for advertising. In itself that is a highly unusual thing to do as the normal course of action is to use a debt collector company or to pursue the money using the court system rather than try to shame the pub into paying up in such a public way.

In the February issue of The Mendip Times the story stated the pub owes £913.30. Steve Eggington, director of the magazine quoted himself as saying they regretted taking this action but had no option as the pub had failed to respond to payment requests or to a court order obtained by The Mendip Times. He said: “We’ve always been sympathetic to anyone who has difficulty paying, but as a small company ourselves I can do without the hassle of chasing debtors.”

Depending on the way the pub was closed there are legal issues which can be associated with closing a business and starting a new one with a similar name in the same premises – if there are outstanding debts.

The pub is the only one in the village as the Miners’ Arms closed several years ago – the nearest hostelries being The Star Inn on the A38 and The Swan Inn at Rowberrow nearby.

Note: this is all publicly available information.

Axbridge News is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents.

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc