Category Archives: pubs

Nags Head change of ownership and winter refurbishment

Nags Head change
Dusham took over, and then refurbished, the Nags Head in 2012, and ran it until August 2019. He often carried out winter upgrade work. As a result the large island beer garden has been transformed. The Nags Head has its best months in the Summer with the River Thames and Nags Head Island being big attractions.
Nags Head change
The Nags Head has been taken over by Brakspear. The name Brakspear rhymes with Shakespeare and originated with the Brakspear Brewery in Henley-on-Thames. They have 130 pubs.
Nags Head change
The Nags Head is closed for refurbishment during the winter months.

White Horse Pub and The Abingdon Arms

The White Horse
I noticed today that the sign at the White Horse Pub in Ock Street has changed from the head of a white horse to The White Horse – the ancient monument near the Ridgeway, after which the Vale of the White Horse is named.
The White Horse
The pub has been there since at least 1830, when mentioned in the Pigots Directory. It looks a typical Ock Street building and is one of only two pubs now along Ock Street. The Morris Dancers used to have far more to dance at.

I don’t know what sort of horse the original landlord of the White Horse intended. Wikipedia saysWhite Horse: the sign of the House of Hanover, adopted by many eighteenth-century inns to demonstrate loyalty to the new Royal dynasty.’

But in these changed times the new pub sign looks very nice to me.
The White Horse
Last week I was at Wantage and passed the prominent sign of  the recently refurbished Abingdon Arms. The latest comment on facebook says ‘Brilliant honest to goodness PUB! Does exactly what it says on the tin. Wish there were more places like this and not the Slug and Cucumber brigade!’

Midget reopening weekend

Midget Pub
The Midget Pub down Preston Road, in Abingdon, has reopened after being closed for two weeks for a refurbishment. The MG theme is very clear in the reopening. MGs from the MG Car Club were there as part of the relaunch.
Midget Pub
The new pub sign shows a large MG logo and a MG Midget.
Midget Pub
Windows and pictures all have the MG and MG logos.
Midget Pub
For the reopening there is a bouncy castle, face paints, kids Karaoke on Sunday, and a band playing. It was a lovely sunny day and it went very well.

On the Way to the Brewery Tap

Brewery Tap
This is Jamie on his way to the Brewery Tap last Sunday lunchtime. Jamie was dragging his owners – he was so keen to get to the Tap and possibly a few morsels of Sunday Roast under the table. He enjoys going to all the Abingdon pubs, especially those that do good traditional food.
Brewery Tap
I met Jamie and owners coming through the Brewery housing development – near the Barrel sculpture.
Brewery Tap
I had been taking a picture of the magnificent building behind.

Broad Face – New Chapter

Broad Face - New Chapter
The scaffolding is down. Work has been going on at the Broad Face before the new people open up. Thanks to Spike A for sending these pictures which show it is looking good.
Broad Face - New Chapter
I hear that it will open as a traditional pub doing meals. We look forward to the new chapter in this well known pub with its long and colourful history.

King Charles 1 Pub Sign

King Charles
When the Kings Head and Bell had a revamp last year, the bell shaped sign – with a picture of King Charles I – could not be rehung, as the hanger was broken. There were some complaints when it was replaced with a sign with just writing.
King Charles
A picture of King Charles I has been re-instated, but without the bell.

The Grapes Sign

Grapes Sign
One pub that seems to be thriving since The Narrows opened is The Grapes – just over the road. The Grapes normally seems to have some sort of sport playing on the big screens. But what struck me yesterday is the new pub sign.
Grapes Sign
After a series of signs depicting bunches of grapes, they now have a 3D bunch of grapes.