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From a Golden Anniversary to a Golden Heart.

In my last post I recounted events of fifty years ago to mark the golden anniversary of the consumption of my first ever pint in Wales. Since publishing that post on various lost Bangor boozers I've not been out on the bike. The weather hasn't helped, but I had a call from my GP who wanted to see me as she'd received a report from a consultant at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham who seemed to think that having a sleeping heart rate approaching that of a hibernating hedgehog might be an issue worthy of a little further investigation, starting off with an ECG and having a Holter monitor fitted once again. Long-term readers may well recall that I had one fitted when I visited the bygone Jug and Glass at Longcliffe to get a pic or two.

The ECG was quickly arranged and I was sent a PDF file of the result. Now where did I put my copy of Cardiology for Dummies? Upon casting an eye over it, my medic mate and erstwhile cycling coach muttered, "Interesting ECG. Did a cardiologist see it?"

"Interesting ECG. Did a cardiologist see it?"

And then, knowing me as he does, with a smile and a wink, added, "Are you now reading about potassium, early depolarisation and Torsades?" I had been.

Now, whilst his bag is lungs, and cystic fibrosis in particular, he's not devoid of knowledge on the heart front and when he describes something as interesting, then it'll no doubt be, err, interesting. Just how interesting I'll have to wait a couple of days until the report of the Holter experience arrives with my GP. In the meantime it gives me a bit of time to deal with another matter of the heart and employ a rather weak link to the subject of this post.

This scan of an old postcard that's been hanging around for a while, showing 'typical Cotswold architecture', features a pub, the Golden Heart, selling the produce of Stroud Brewery. With a relatively rare name it didn't take much effort to pin its location down to Painswick, in Gloucestershire. Or to discover that it is a bygone boozer.

Here's another postcard with a view in the opposite direction.

Golden Heart Painswick
The Golden Heart Inn with a very distinctive sign.

Recorded as an inn as early as 1781, the Gloucestershire Pubs and Breweries website informs us that in those days mine host would've been one James Skirron. I haven't been able to go that far back, but Pigot's directory of 1830 shows Richard Heague at the Golden Heart...

Extract from Pigot's 1830 directory.

...and note the name of tailor William Gyde who appears in the column of 'other trades', for in 1839 he's carrying out his stitching at the Golden Heart, with Richard Heague having moved around the corner to the Bell.

Extract from Robson's 1839 directory.

William and his wife Kezia were still there in 1851...

Extract from the 1851 census.

...but they'd moved on before the next head count and the Golden Heart by then was being run by George Meeze, who seems to have one of the most misspelt (No, I've not misspelt 'misspelled'!) surnames I've come across. Mees, Mease, Maze, Mayes are just four of the versions I've met, which hasn't made the census crawling and directory delving particularly straightforward.

Extract from the 1861 census.

His name seems to have been spelt correctly in the Post Office's directory of 1863, but...!

Extract from the 1863 Post Office directory.

At least both seem to have been given their correct spellings in 1871.

Extract from the 1871 census.

The Golden Heart must've been a good little earner for George, for by the time of the next census, at the tender age of fifty-two, he's listed living in Surrey as a retired innkeeper. In his place is Henry Bruton, who'd been there for at least a couple of years by then.

Extract from Kelly's 1879 directory.

By the end of the nineteenth century the Heart had come into the care of William Hooper...

Extract from the 1891 census.

...who lived there until his death in 1919. He was followed by John Dodd...

Extract from Kelly's 1923 directory.

...who was in the place for almost forty years and, like William, was still there when he himself died in 1957. Almost forty years at the Golden Heart. No early retirement like George Meeze had for William or John.

This image may well have been taken during John Dodd's tenure as it dates from the late '50s or early '60s,...

...this one was taken in 1972, two years before it pulled its final pint and died as a pub...

...and here's its appearance when Mr. Google passed in 2009. At the time I believe it was the home of the Golden Heart Tea House.

Golden Heart Painswick
July 2009. © Google 2023

To complete the photo album, as further up the page we had a view looking in the other direction let's have one here too.

That's the Golden Heart dealt with. Now just my own rapidly approaching platinum heart to sort. For those of you who may be wondering, a hibernating hedgehog's heart beats at around twenty beats a minute. Those beats can often be paired. Looking back at my ECG, perhaps I'm simply preparing to go into hibernaton.

Clive Randall-Cook's, David C. Cook's and Jaggery's images are copyright and are reused under this licence.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.

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