Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Goddard Arms reopens

Back in August I wrote:
During my recent travels across England by bus I was ... struck by the number of closed pubs I was seeing - in town as well as the countryside.
The most notable closure was the Goddard Arms in Swindon's old town. This creeper-clad (creeper-dominated, in the photo above) building must have featured in a thousand prints of The Inns of Olde Englande.

There is good news today in the Swindon Advertiser:
The doors to the Goddard Arms swung open once more last night at its grand opening following a £2m refurbishment.

The Old Town landmark on High Street shut down on August 31, 2007 and was sold off to a then-unnamed property developer.

But after more than two years of lifelessness the 16th century building was revived by the Barracuda Group, which has transformed the Grade II listed main building into a 11-bedroom hotel with a restaurant and bar.
Not quite a pub then, but it is certainly better than having it closed.


Anonymous said...

It's quite tragic what's happening to our pubs, but refurbishment and heavy spending seems to be the way to go if they want to survive. The hotel/pub where I work has also had a massive refurbishment (though not quite £2 mil). It's gone from being one of the quietest pubs in the town to undoubtedly the busiest.

However, there is another 'turnaround' pub that went in the opposite direction: lowered its prices, and added a dart board. Personally, I don't like the fight you get your pint.

Major Clanger said...

To be fair, it never was just a pub. I stayed there for the first three months after I moved to Swindon. Long years ago, it even functioned as Swindon's town hall! It's great to see it back. I'm hoping that the government will wake up to our vanishing pub heritage and support supervised, community drinking rather than supermarket vodka binges.