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The New Inn Broadclyst

The New Inn, Broadclyst

© Derek Harper


The Red Lion apparently does less trade than under the former management, but this is probabbly due less to increased restrictions than to local prejudice, and especially to the competition of the now fully licensed New Inn. It certainly  does not appear that the aim of the present management is to restrict sales.  The house is conducted much as an ordinary village inn is conducted, but with an evident desire on the part of the manageress and her daughter for "trade". Their motives in this are, however, apparently single, for they have absolutely no pecuniary inducement to push the sale of alcoholic liquors. The explanation is probably to be found in the fact that they are keeenly sensitive to the competition of the rival inn. The force of this competition certainly tells powerfully against the Association in Broadclyst. (We are informed by the Secretary of the Association that Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, the owner of the inn has stated that "if he had another house vacant, he would offer it to the Association, although he would like to have a voice in the selection of the manager.")


The pecuniary benefit resulting to the village from the operations of the Association has not so far been great.  Last year, a total grant of £15 was made to the village, of which £5 was devoted to the Nursing Fund, £5 to the Clothing Club and £5 spent on village lamps and the village green.  This year (1903) a grant of £20 has been made to the village, of which £5 has been devoted to the Nursing Fund, £5 to the Clothing Club, £5 to the extinction of a debt incurred in erecting a bathing-place and £5 has again been spent on village lamps and the village green.


Of direct counter-attractions to the public house there are practically none. The social needs of the village are supposed to be met by a small reading-room, which is open during the six winter months only and is under the charge of the sexton. There are forty-five members, who pay a weekly subscription of one penny. The average attendance is said to tbe fifteen. Several of the young men who were seen in the "glass" room of the Red Lion were formerly members of the reading room but left owing to a disturbance. Members are now elected by ballot. We were informed that there had been but one concert in the village during the previous winter."


We can trace the gradual collapse of the aims of the refreshment House Association from July 1911 when  their Plume of Feathers in Sherborne was voluntarily wound up. By 1915, the Association had crumbled and the ideas behind it had been dislodged by a changing world and two wars. The most important factor in the collapse was that the Association could never raise enough money to gain control of all the pubs in any one area. People simply voted with their feet and went off to another pub if the principles behind the British version of the Gothenbery project did not suit them.


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