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Woodley Town Council

 

Woodley covers a triangular area, from the A4 Bath Road at the north to the Wokingham Road at the south. To the east is The Loddon. Two pubs in the list, The George and Shepherds House, can be seen as borderline – Earley and Sonning respectively – but are included for completeness.

  1. Bosco Lounge, 55a-b Crockhamwell Road
  2. The Bull & Chequers, Church Rod, Woodley Green
  3. The Chequers, 198-200 Crockhamwell Road
  4. The George, Wokingham Road, Loddon Bridge
  5. The Good Companions, 149 Loddon Bridge Road
  6. The Inn on the Park, The Pavilion, Woodford Park, Haddon Drive
  7. The Lamb, Wheelers Green
  8. Lands End/Heron on the Ford, Sandford
  9. The Red Lion, Headley Road East (Cobblers City)
  10. Shepherds House, Bath Road
  11. Thatchers/Waterside, Fairwater Drive
  12. Woodley Yeoman, Howth Drive

Woodley pubs

Bosco Lounge

Lounges was founded in 2002 by a trio of long-standing friends, Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop. Having spent years in the restaurant and bar trade – not to mention just as many propping up the bars in Bristol (all of course in the name of research) – they decided it was time they did their own thing. The motivation was simple and very selfish; they wanted somewhere to drink themselves.

Following the successful launch of the Alto Lounge in Caversham yet another new café bar style pub has appeared in Woodley, opened 2013, at the site of the former Big Discount Store in Crockhamwell Road There has been speculation as to whether the Bosco in question is St John Bosco, dedicatee of the Roman Catholic church in Woodley. Bosco (1815-88) was an Italian priest, noted for his work providing education and care for poor children.

 

bosco lounge woodley

 

 

The Bull & Chequers

 

Originally a farmhouse when Woodley was in the countryside. According to Frances Lloyd it was owned by the local landowner, John Y. Willats in 1843, along with the nearby Chequers. She characterises it along with the other two pubs reckoned to predate the Beer Act as the meeting place of the local farmers. This pub was kept by the Aldridge family for many years with Samuel making his appearance in the 1847 Post Office Directory and George succeeding in 1877, pursuing the trade of baker as well as that of licensed victualler. William Burt was in place by 1887 and saw the pub through much of the period up to WW1. Later incumbents include Florence and Sydney Evans, George Dance and Stanley Hutton.

It is possibly the oldest public building still in public use in the town.
It was used for meetings of the vestry, which controlled the admin of the Poors Land and, through the Poor Law Guardians, all parish relief and management of the Workhouse also appointed constables.

Grade II Listed building description

Past Residents

Public house. C18 altered and extended C19 and C20. Brick, old tile half hipped roof. 2 storeys and cellar.

Entrance front:- First floor brick string; chimney to left of centre on ridge and on right hand gable of C19

single storey extension to right. 3 irregular bays, 2 bays of C19 3-light wood casements on right with

shutters, those on ground floor with segmental heads and one upper sash window with glazing bars on

left. A 6-panelled entrance door under flat hood between the two right hand windows.

The following entries are in this format:
Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/Samuel Aldridge/../../../Post Office Directory

1854/Samuel Aldridge/../../../Billings Directory
1864/S Aldridge/../../../Kellys Directory
1868/Samuel Aldridge/../../../Casseys Directory
1877/George Aldridge/baker & victualler/../../Harrods Directory

1887/William Burt/../../../Kellys Directory

1899/William Burt/../../../Kellys Directory

1907/William Burt/../../../Kellys Directory

1920/Mrs Florence Evans/../../../Kellys Directory

1924/Sydney H Evans/../../../Kellys Directory

1928/Geo Dance/../../../Kellys Directory

1931/Geo Dance/../../../Kellys Directory

1934/Geo Dance/../../../Kellys Directory

1937/Geo Dance/../../../Kellys Directory

1949/Thos Dance/../../../Kellys Directory

1952/Stanley Hutton/../../../Kellys Directory

1956/Stanley Hutton/../../../Kellys Directory

 

bull and chequers woodley

 

 

The Chequers

 

A locals pub at one end of the Woodley shopping centre with a strong horse racing focus and a new outdoor decking area. This ex-Tanners pub was converted from a one to a two-bar pub mid 2000’s then back to one bar in its 2016 refurbishment.

The modern pub replaced a much older one – said to have been over 500 years old – which was demolished in the 1960’s. Kept by Thomas George in 1847. Described by Frances Lloyd as a meeting place of the local farmers.

Past Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/Thos George/../../../Post Office Directory
1851/Thomas George/Publican/30/Sonning, Berks/Census
1851/Sarah Louisa George/Wife/39/Hurst, Berks/Census
1851/William George/Son, Scholar/6/Woodley, Berks/Census
1851/Thomas George/Son/2/Woodley, Berks/Census
1851/Robert George/Son/1/Woodley, Berks/Census
1851/Mary Ann Gould/Sister, Visitor/22/St Georges, Middlesex/Census 1851/Elizabeth Goddard/Servant, House Servant/13/Reading, Berks/Census 1854/Thomas George/../../../Billings Directory
1864/T George/../../../Kellys Directory
1868/Thomas George/../../../Casseys Directory
1887/William Ham/../../../Kellys Directory
1899/John Williams/../../../Kellys Directory
1907/John Williams/../../../Kellys Directory
1920/Mrs Elizabeth Chapman/../../../Kellys Directory
1924/Mrs Elizabeth Chapman/../../../Kellys Directory
1928/Harry Chapman/../../../Kellys Directory
1931/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory
1934/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory
1937/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory
1949/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory
1952/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory
1956/Cyril H Perrin/../../../Kellys Directory

 

the chequers woodley

 

the chequers woodley

 

 

The George

 

A pub on the site that used to be a toll house for the toll bridge over the river Loddon. Today it is within the Winnersh Triangle Business Estate next to the cinema on the riverbank overlooked by the terraced patio. The busy main road in front contrasts with the quiet Loddon river at its side.

Old and much extended. Described by Frances Lloyd as a meeting place of the local farmers

Past Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/Wm Wheelwright/../../../Post Office Directory
1851/William Wheelwright/Innkeeper & farmer 56 acres employs 2 labourers/53/Liverpool, Lancs/Census
1851/Mary Wheelwright/Wife/47/Newport, Shropshire/Census
1851/Edward Wheelwright/Son, Scholar/13/Sonning, Berks/Census
1851/Thomas Wheelwright/Son, Scholar/12/Sonning, Berks/Census
1851/John Wheelwright/Son, Scholar/5/Sonning, Berks/Census
1851/Helen Louisa Wheelwright/Daughter, Scholar/6/Sonning, Berks/Census 1851/Johanna Morten/Niece, Visitor/35/St George in the East, London/Census 1851/William Smith/Servant, Ostler/46/Caversham, Oxon/Census
1851/Emma Egelton/Servant/15/Sonning, Berks/Census
1854/Wm Wheelwright/../../../Billings Directory
1864/J Colerick/../../../Kellys Directory
1877/W Ham/../../../Harrods Directory
1887/W Critchfield/../../../Kellys Directory
1899/George Pratt/../../../Kellys Directory
1914/William F Trigg/../../../..
1920/Mrs K Eve-Thomas/../../../Kellys Directory
1924/Mrs K Eve-Thomas/../../../Kellys Directory
1928/Mrs K Eve-Thomas/../../../Kellys Directory
1931/Mrs K Eve-Thomas/../../../Kellys Directory

From: Smith’s Reading Directory 1907

 

the George woodley

 

 

the George woodley

 

 

the George woodley

 

the George woodley

the George woodley

 

The Good Companions

 

Community pub built in the 1950’s. Accent on TV sports and reasonably priced food, with the two separate bars knocked into one and a makeover done recently. In 2014 it had a £160,000 revamp.

 

the good companions woodley

 

The Inn on the Park

 

Woodley Town Council announced that the Inn on The Park, in Haddon Drive, was due to close on Saturday, October 24, after the company contracted to run the pub refused to extend the existing agreement. The pub was run by LT Pub Management on behalf of the council, but the company refused to extend the existing contract beyond the end of October.

The council had hoped to negotiate an extension while regeneration plans were being developed. Woodford Park Leisure Centre originally set up a sports members’ bar, which then became a pub when the centre was extended in the 1980s.

 

the community inn

 

 

The Lamb

 

The Lamb ceased business after the repeal of Wellington’s Beer Act in 1869 and was turned into two dwellings, Wellside and Well Cottage. Later, they were converted to a large workshop for a carpentry business. The first photo below was taken in 1969, but the area has since been redeveloped.

Past Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/Alex New/../../../Post Office Directory

1851/Alexander New/Butcher & Beer Seller/51/Sonning, Berks/Census 1851/Sarah New/Wife/42/Ilsworth, Hants/Census
1851/Jane New/Daughter/14/Sonning, Berks/Census
1851/Sarah Esther New/Daughter, Scholar/11/Sonning, Berks/Census 1851/Emma Ann New/Daughter, Scholar/8/Sonning, Berks/Census 1851/Nancy New/Daughter, Scholar/6/Sonning, Berks/Census 1851/Henry John New/Son, Scholar/4/Sonning, Berks/Census

1854/Alexander New/Beer Retailer/../../Billings Directory

 

the lamb woodley

the lamb woodley

 

Lands End

 

The Lands End was rebuilt in 1930 and more recently was refurbished in the summer of 2018, including a new flag stone floor, and is now called The Heron on the Ford.

Past Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/William George/../../../Post Office Directory

1854/Wm George/Beer Retailer/../../Billings Directory

1864/W George/../../../Kellys Directory
1887/Jacob Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

1899/Jacob Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

1907/Jacob Webb/../../../Kellys Directory 1920/Thomas Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

1924/Thomas Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

1928/Thomas Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

1931/Wm Jn Webb/../../../Kellys Directory

 

lands end woodley

 

The Red Lion

One of a row of 4 cottages owned by Sarah Luke in 1843. It was for a short time the “Fountain Off Licence” (and that sign still remains) but reverted to private use in c. 1890.

Past Residents

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1847/William Watts/../../../Post Office Directory

1854/Wm Watts/Beer Retailer/../../Billings Directory

 

red lion woodley

 

Shepherds House

The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1934/Sidney Dilworth/../../../Kellys Directory

1937/Sidney Dilworth/../../../Kellys Directory 1949/Sidney Geo Dilworth/../../../Kellys Directory

1952/Sidney Geo Dilworth/../../../Kellys Directory

1956/Jn Gill/../../../Kellys Directory

 

Waterside

This pub was previous known as Thatchers or Thatchers Tavern, but after a large-scale refurbishment in the autumn of 2016, became a gastro-pub. The Waterside has kept the pub’s unique thatched roof.

In November 1996, fire crews battled for more than four hours to save the Thatchers pub from burning down – just 12 days before it was due to open after a major refurbishment. The 16th Century listed building in Fairwater Drive had already had £320,000 spent on its facelift when its roof caught fire. It was estimated that a further £1 million would be needed to make good the damage.

 

waterside woodley

 

waterside woodley

 

South Lake was at one time part of the Bulmershe Estate. When the estate was split up in 1926 the lake and surrounding area were bought by a Mr. Clark, who built South Lake House. The house had an idyllic setting with beautiful lawns, surrounded by specimen trees, with the lake a short walk away. During the war of 1939-45 the house became the temporary home of a London school, which had to move to a place of safety.

In 1966 the house was sold. This time it was bought by a brewery and was known as Thatchers. The lawn is smaller and houses have been built close by, but the lake is now available for all to enjoy. It is popular with fishermen and model boat owners and for those who like to take a pleasant walk on its banks.

 

waterside woodley

 

waterside woodley

 

Woodley Yeoman

It had a reputation as rough pub but had a football and darts team. Open from 1970s and closed about 1998.

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