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The Kings Head public house at Berry Hill

Kings Head

The Kings Head, Berry Hill, Gloucestershire

The proprietor at this time was Ernest Beach

Thanks to Robert "Fred" Beach who has kindly added the following commentary :
"Ernest Beach was my dads Uncle Ernie and the woman in the picture I would imagine is his wife Zilla, they had one daughter Maureen ? I remember as a child (mid 1950s) a Sunday visit, the pub was closed, and being free to play darts and table skittles with my brother Harry while the adults chatted. My father lodged with them before the War when he worked on the GWR railways, he was attached to the Lydbrook gang, he later transfered to the St Briavels gang as he lived at Wyesham near Monmouth. Ernest was born 1891 on the Kymin near Monmouth and died in the 1970s?. Zilla lived on for many years next door to the Kings Head, probably until the late 1980s" .
Ernest Beach was landlord of the Kings Head from 1931 until 1954. (1)

Thanks also to Joyce Lea who added: "Mrs Beach was my fathers sister. She had a daughter Maureen who died of M.S. in the sixties and a son Ronald who was killed, with his wife, in a car crash. She had an identical twin sister Jess who was landlady of Seven Stars pub in Cinderford with her husband Ben Voyce and then ran a newsagents, Bowe? in Cinderford until their retirement".
(1) John Saunders, Past and Present Books, Gloucester Rd., Coleford.

George Smith added (October 2009): "... Bet Jones, another sister was landlady at the Courtfield Arms, Lydbrook during the war. One of the sisters was landlady at The Cock Inn, Blakeney in 1922" .

Mike Jones added (July 2011): "... This brings back teriffic memories. This is very much my territory, God's pocket as my Gran Jones used to say. I was born in the middle of the war, just across the road, the other side of what we called the tump. It later became the pub car park and now a newish house is built there. Our house was Fair View. My uncle Reg Jones used to run a cobblers shop in the garden at the side of the house. There was a walk-in porch on the front door of the Kings Head ("Yud") then. I remember it particularly well for its small bore half down-pipe turned out over the cill, just at the right height for us young uns to trumpet in the belief those inside could hear".
"Apart from the landlady of the Cock Inn, I remember pretty well all those mentioned above but did n't know about Robert's demise. His father was Graham Hose - the spelling might not be quite right, he was a very clever electrician. Graham wanted to teach me the trade until one day I put half of Berry Hill out for the best part of a day. He also taught me the art of improving pom pom bangers by encasing them in peices of old lead piping and crimping the ends up. They made twice the noise but you had to be careful where you put them, - lethal. I dread to think what the HSE would make of that today. When I was very young there was a old timer called George Hughes who used to drink on his own in the 'Jug and Bottle' and he used to sit me on his knee for a slurp of his beer. When George was n't in the 'Jug and Bottle' he was usually sat in Uncle Reg's cobblers shop. There was n't any mains water then. Everyone had a well and many carried water for drinking from Well Lane or Orrel's springs. When the well got low very often the entire family would take turns in the tin bath. Ken Greenway took over the pub from Ern Beach and in terms of timescale he was probably the last successful landlord there. I seem to recall Mr Beach and the Kings Head were tied up with Berry Hill F.C. and I think they may have headquartered there at one time. I'm sure there used to be team pics hung on the wall. Perhaps someone else can enlarge?. I could go on and on with this one".

John Saunders added (February 2013): "... Yes an early Berry Hill football team used it as their headquarters before WW1. The Marion's Brickworks football team used it as their headquarters after the war up until WW2. Berry Hill football club started after the war. They used the King's, Head, The Globe and The Rising Sun at different times after moving from playing at Crow Ash farm".

Richenda (Ricky) Nagle/Hose/Beach added (July 2014): "... Just a few minor corrections- Ernest and Zillah Beach were my grandparents. They owned the Kings Head until much later than 1954, when they moved to Weston - Super - Mare to care for my mother Maureen, who did have MS. Bet Jones was my aunt. She actually owned The Jovials (Jovial Colliers) in Lydbrook. I am interested to know more about Graham Hose .... He am not aware of him having a son named Robert. I also didn't know he was an electrician. He was in the navy during WWII. His father was Frederick George Hose,the dentist in Coleford for many years. Graham worked for the Rank Organization at Mitcheldean for several years before moving to Weston with my mother, Maureen and my sister Mallory. Any other information would be much appreciated. Thank you".

John Coleman added (Feb 2015): "... Ron Beach, brother to Maureen, Ricky's mother,was lodging with my mother, father, my sister Gwen and me in Forest Hill, London at the start of WWII - he was training to be a senior police officer at Scotland Yard. At the declaration of war he told my parents that I and my sister must travel to Gloucester(shire) and stay with his parents in the King's Head pub. We made the train journey and were collected by Ernest Beach. There was only room for me at the pub, my sister went to a house near Five Acres where a relation of Aunt Zillah (as I called her) lived. I shared the back half of a bedroom with Maureen (I was eight at the time!) Ron was called up and got a commission in the Somerset Light Infantry and was posted to Nigeria. I went to Christchurch Infants School and sang in the church choir. Aunt Zillah had a brother (?) living in the pub (he was a bachelor) he was excused call-up as he worked in the mines nearby. His name was Millson. I stayed for over 2 years but went back to London to sit my scholarship to go to Grammar school there. I had a strong Glos accent when I got home. I had a great time in the woods, with many trips down to the Yat and learned to cut Hazelwood sticks and carve them. Would like to contact Maureen's daughter . I have a photo of me and the same dog, on the green which was on the opposite side of the road from the side door of the Pub".

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