Steve Barnes and Will Williams bought the pub in 1994 after securing a loan from A Brewing. They made money and repaid the loan to make the Wenlock Arms a free house. That enabled the to buy the beers they wanted and did a wonderful job of building a strong and loyal customer base. I would like to think that I was one of them. My annual London holiday would not be complete without a visit to one of London’s earliest real ale havens. I saw many pubs in London offering two or three real ales at best but the WA had a nice array early on. I was able to try exciting beers from across England and until recent years this was very rare for London.
Planning approval for five flats with commercial space one the ground floor. Times change and nothing lasts forever it seems. There is a movement on to save the pub but can this happen? Just have somebody buy it and run it for 17 years like Steve and Will have done. It’s that easy. Well, maybe not. Maybe that’s why it is for sale? And who should blame Steve and Will for wanting to retire with something to show for all that they have done for almost two decades of their lives? All the chatter on the web is about saving the Wenlock Arms. Ha sit occurred to anyone to give thanks?
I felt a loss when I first found out the Arms was closing but I took the time to reflect the good times I had there and the great beers available to me. It became one of my destination pubs and one that I told others to seek out. I may never see Will or Steve when I get back over but should I have the opportunity I would like to say two words to them: Thank You. Thank you for giving me years of memories and the chance to meet some interesting people. A pub with dogs aloud and Eddy the Fat Controller. Yes, I am happy that I was able to be a part of all that for all these years. Thank you Steve. Thank you Will.