Thursday, 24 March 2016

Books on Sussex Pubs by David Russell

A new book by David and Lynda Russell, published September 2015, is The Pubs of Lewes, East Sussex 1550-2000, ISBN 978 0 9562 9179 0, price £14.99, featuring histories of fifty pubs and beer houses plus a register of licensees. At 322 pages it includes 186 photographs and illustrations. 

Meanwhile, David’s book, The Pubs of Rye, East Sussex 1750-1950, has now gone into its second edition, ISBN 978 0 9562 9178 3, price £13.99. At 286 pages, this fascinating and informative history of thirty-three Rye pubs also includes a register of licensees and research into the Rye Temperance Movement. 

Also in its second edition by the same author is The Swan, Hastings 1523-1943, ISBN 978 0 9562 9176 9, price £8.50. This is a 120 page history of the famous Hastings pub destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War. 

It was way back in the Winter 2009 issue of the Sussex Drinker that I ran a review of David’s book, The Pubs of Hastings & St Leonards 1800-2000. This is now in its third edition, including new research. Seventy-two pubs are featured, past and present in its 332 pages, which include 200 photographs and illustrations - ISBN 978 0 9562 9177 6, price £13.99.

Finally, David’s Register of Licensees for Hastings & St Leonards 1500-2000, is now in its second edition, ISBN 978 0 9562 9752, price £8.50. At 138 pages, it contains some 4,400 names. It is the only listing of 341 public houses in the town and is a useful reference for family historians, pub historians and genealogists. 

All of the books can be purchased by Pay Pal from Otherwise email:

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Post & Telegraph Carries News of Brighton Pubs Book: Press Release for Wetherspoon News

One of Brighton’s three Wetherspoon’s pubs, the Post & Telegraph in North Street features in a new book by beer writer David Muggleton.

Brighton Pubs, at 96 pages with nearly 100 illustrations, gives a detailed history and guided tour of 45 pubs in one of Britain’s most vibrant cities.

The pubs are arranged into a series of five walks, each with its own chapter, starting with a map and guiding the reader around a different area of Brighton, covering not only the city centre but venturing out to the suburbs. The pubs featured are all in some way notable, whether by heritage and architecture, an association with famous people or a setting for historical events.

The Post & Telegraph, which is included in the walk of the city’s Cultural Quarter, inhabits a Grade-II listed building of 1921-23, designed in the neoclassic French style of Louis XIV by architect F. C. R Palmer with local firm Clayton & Black acting as executants. It was originally and for most of its existence a bank but was built on the site of newspaper premises once occupied by the now defunct Brighton Gazette, Hove Post and Sussex Telegraph, hence the name given when it was opened by Wetherspoon in December 2010.

David (pictured in the Post & Telegraph) said: there were many more pubs I would ideally have liked to feature, including the city’s other two Wetherspoon outlets, The West Quay and The Bright Helm, but the book would have ended up twice the allowed word length!

David added “I’m a big fan of Wetherspoon pubs; the beers are well kept and I always look forward to their regular real-ale festivals that showcase up to 50 ales from the UK and around the world. In fact, immediately after my photo was taken I enjoyed a few of the Post & Telegraph’s current festival ales."

Published by Amberley Publications of Stroud, Gloucestershire, Brighton Pubs is available at £14.99 through the city’s bookshops as well as from the publisher’s website at

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Grenadier, Hailsham

The Harvey Hoppers’ Handbook, a 1990s guide to the pubs on the Harvey Hop, states that the Grenadier Hotel dates back to the Napoleonic Wars, when it “was originally known as the British Grenadier and served to quench the thirsts of the soldiers garrisoned in the barracks which once stood nearby.” The pub website says the original pub on the site was built in 1803 and that the barracks on Hailsham common were dismantled in 1815 after success at Battle of Waterloo. This history is corroborated by the following text that appears in the 1991 book, Hailsham in Old Picture Postcards, by M. Alder and published by the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society:

“In a deed of 1803, ‘William Stevens of Berwick and G. Woger of Alfriston who are about to build a house in the field, now Mr Benjamin Shelley’s near the barracks on Hailsham Common --- bind themselves to Mr Issac Clapson, gent, that Richard Wood, innkeeper, of Hailsham shall have a half share of the business.’ This was the beginning of the Grenadier Hotel, built to supply beer to the soldiers stationed at the barracks which then stood on the western side of Eastwell Place. Thomas Geering records that after the barracks ceased to be used, the Grenadier rapidly became the rendezvous for every tramp within ten miles. He said ‘a merrier lot never existed’”

The existing pub premises, however, are the result of a 1910 refacing by builder James Bodle. The pub website states that this same work “also created a large two storey extension to the saloon bar and
a large single storey extension at the rear of the property creating a much needed large stock room.” Subsequent additions over the years include a parapet. The building is of two storeys in redbrick with attractive decorative stonework elements in the rusticated pilasters and the arches above the ground floor doors and windows. These bear the names Private Bar, Public Bar and Saloon Bar in scrolled relief above the windows with H&S (Harvey & Son) over the doors. Room names also survive on a number of etched windows and door glass.

The present bar on the left (above) is a combination of the old Private and Public Bars. The game ‘Toad in the Hole’ is played here. Fixed seating now blocks off the Public Bar door where the load bearing beam once divided the two rooms. The original bar back and counter remains but the latter has newer panels on the front. The internal door with the sign ‘Saloon Bar and Toilets’ leads first to a small lobby with what appears to have once been an off sales; or perhaps this was the entrance and serving hatch for the hotel residents.

The large right side room (below) has a ‘Saloon Bar’ etched panel in both exterior and inner doors. The bar counter is the original with replacement front panels that match the dado panelling on the walls, some of which has covered up an old fireplace. This room has been combined with a former sitting room at the rear where there is another small hatch/doorway for service. 

The Grenadier, 67 High Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1AS, 01323 842152
E-mail: mail @

Friday, 11 March 2016

Homebrew Brighton

Love beer? Make beer! Homebrew Brighton is Brighton’s brew club, a community of home-brewers.

Come along if you are interested in learning how to start or improve your brewing, tasting and sharing great beers, and having a great time. At the moment James Torr is the primary organiser but he hopes to keep getting more people on board so that they can get some more interesting collaborative group work going.

Homebrew Brighton have been a group on Facebook since autumn 2013 and have been meeting monthly since October 2014. Meetings generally rotate between a few of the craft beer scene pubs in Brighton but as they open up more they will be moving further afield. Keep an eye on the website, Facebook, Twitter and the mailing list for news about the weekly meets.
Facebook: groups/homebrewbrighton