Yesterday evening (17th July) saw Barry Brock, the Manager of our Family History Centre, suitably kitted out in a luminous safety jacket, guiding a group of us around the streets of Sherborne, on the trail of the town’s vanished pubs. This was the first of four such pub walks (definitely not pub crawls!) that the Society has organized this summer. We originally set three dates but these all booked up so quickly that we recently added a fourth – on Thursday 7th August (places still available at the time of writing).
When we arranged the dates, we hoped that the weather would be kind to us but couldn’t have predicted that the first walk would be on one of the hottest days, so far, of the year. By the time we set off, at 6.00pm, the heat of the day had died down somewhat, leaving us to explore the history of Sherborne’s many, many hostelries on a lovely, warm, sunny evening – this beautiful historic town was certainly looking its best!
Barry has been researching Sherborne’s inns, pubs and coaching houses (he explained the differences between them) for around seven years and has a wealth of knowledge which he shared with us: not just the history of the buildings themselves but anecdotes about their owners, landlords and customers, bringing to life the people of Sherborne over several centuries. Barry brought with him a file with copies of documents and paintings relating to the history of Sherborne’s vanished pubs, to illustrate his talk.
Since we have three more walks this summer, it would be unfair to those who have booked to give too much detail here – and Barry tells the stories much better. Since they have been such a success, we hope we will be able to persuade Barry to repeat them next year – look out for details on our website and in The Greenwood Tree.
The evening ended with a pint, or two, in one of Sherborne’s still-existing pubs – The Plume of Feathers on Half Moon Street opposite the Abbey – a fitting end to a very enjoyable, and informative, walk.