My above Blog of 20th July 2012 was a feature on the formation of a co-operative by a group of residents in the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean area of Brighton in order to reopen their local, the Bevendean Hotel, following its closure by the police in May 2010. The hotel was built in 1936 by local architect Stavers Hessell Tiltman, most probably for the Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries.
On Saturday 13 December 2014, at 5.30pm, the reopening of the Bevy was blessed by the Vicar of Moulsecoomb, Father John Wall. Local residents themselves raised much of the £200K required, while regular ‘work-ins’ saw volunteers give up their weekends to fit out the pub ahead of its grand reopening. There were also fundraising events, grants and loans from East Brighton Trust, Social Investment Business, SE Assist, Co-operative Enterprise Hub and the Church Urban Fund. The group were helped to get going along the journey through advice from The Plunkett Foundation and the Community Shares Company.
The Bevy is the first community-owned pub on an housing estate in the UK. More than 700 people have brought community shares and are now owners of the pub - more than any other co-op pub in the country. There are currently twelve people on the management committee, all who live locally. The licensee-manager is the well-known, popular figure and BHA supporter Chris Pobjoy, who used to be landlord of the Romans, Southwick. Their focus is on developing:
a hub for the community;
a pub that people will want to live close to;
a café that will draw people out of their homes;
a place to eat that will stop people going into town;
a facility to provide training and experience to our young people.
The light and airy premises are fitted out to a high standard: they include a large café area opening onto the south terrace and main garden area; a pub area occupying most of the space to the east and north of the pub interior; a small meeting room facility for twelve people on the north side of the pub; and a community kitchen. The Bevy serves a range of real ale on its three hand pumps from local breweries and guests, including on the day of your Editor’s visit, Harveys Best Bitter and Old Ale, Dark Star Hophead, Fuller’s Gale’s HSB, Sharp’s Doom Bar, and Timothy Taylor Landlord. Beers have also been supplied to the pub by Brighton co-operative brewery, Bartleby’s.
The Bevendean Community Pub is open every day from 12noon-11pm. Come along and have a bevy! The pub even has its own bus stop on the Brighton & Hove 49 route.
The Bevy, 50 Hillside, Brighton, BN2 4TF, 01273 281009, www.thebevy.co.uk