An historic inn near Crewkerne Railway Station is ready to re-open its doors to the public on Friday June 30th at 6 pm. The bar, seating, restaurant and other interior areas of the Old Stagecoach Inn in Station Road has been closed since the new owner took over the business in mid March this year. Although the bed and breakfast side of the business, offering accommodation in the outside chalets, has remained constant, the interior of the inn has undergone major refurbishment and re-decoration, bringing it sympathetically into the 21st Century while retaining its charm and period features which date back to the late Victorian era.
The inn’s new owner Lorraine Pike, who has worked in catering and hospitality all her life is excited about her new venture. Lorraine said: “We are looking forward to re-opening on the 30th and want to make it a place where all members of the community will enjoy coming to. We are child friendly, will have special meal deals on offer for families and for senior citizens. We will be running a carvery every Sunday and we are happy for walkers to visit us with their dogs, provided they are well behaved and on a lead.”
The Old Stagecoach Inn was purposefully built around 1882, to accommodate those using the railway station. Because there was already a railway tavern in the town, it was named the Queen’s Hotel, in homage to Queen Victoria. The inns first licensees were George Rugg and John Slade of Somerset Trading Ltd, a subsidary of Bradford & Sons, who owned the land. As a former Posting House, horses were kept in stables at the rear of the hotel and available for hire to add to the strength of visiting teams of horses, leading coaches and wagons, to help them negotiate the steep hills around Crewkerne. When the inn was sold in 1981, its registered owners were Palmers Brewery in Bridport.
In 1993, the owner of the Queen’s Hotel, Rene Van Der Ende changed its name to the Old Stagecoach Inn. Another former owner and licensee Anton Jordi and his wife Deloris, put the inn well and truly on the world map, by hosting an annual gathering of the Moto Guzzi. The Italian motorbike enthusiasts enjoyed their stay in Crewkerne with many camping in tents in a field across the road from the inn. Anton, who was also known for his unique range of Belgian malt and fruit beers, sold the business in March 2010, when he retired from the hospitality trade.
A complimentary drink will be served to visitors on arrival at the Open Evening on Friday June 30th. There will also be a free buffet, offering tasters from the menu, a free draw for a child friendly hamper and adult Pimms hamper, real ales and guest ales on tap, traditional ciders and other drinks available from the bar. Lorraine, her manageress Yasmin Cridland and Derek, the friendly boxer dog known as the ‘Boss’, invite everyone to join them and raise a toast to the inns successful future.