Hearing about the 200 year celebrations brought back memories of the Coach and Horses being the first public house I went into.
It would have been the late 1930s. I had been with my Dad and he said we would go in for a drink. I was not old enough to be in there in the first place and thought I would be asked to leave, BUT Dad ordered his usual half and a glass of lemonade for me, which would have been brought up from the cellar as there was no bar at that time. There were two high-backed settles each side of the window divided by a long scrubbed top table.
Two old gentlemen sat each side the fire place in two wooden armchairs as they chatted to one another. As well as enjoying their pint they would (very disgustingly I thought) pare a small sliver of tobacco from what was bought as a plug and after a few minutes and they had enjoyed the flavour deposit it in what was known as a spittoon – an ornate iron dish filled with sawdust.
In later years I played in the darts team and in what must have been the early 1970s I met John Lowe* when he visited The Coach.
There are photographs of a white pump outside and a flight of steps leading to what was the club room. The pub is now much larger, taking up most of the ground floor. In those early days there was just the tap room and a small snug which was just for friends of the landlady where they could enjoy a discreet port and lemon.
Rhoda Woodward 2014
*John Lowe, born 1945, one of the best known and most skilled darts players in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. He is one of only six players to have won the World Championship three times, in 1979, 1987 and 1993, and the first two win the World Championship in three separate decades.