Nathan and Kirsty Wilson-Bridges reopened the Castle Inn, Cold Ash on 9 August 2019.
Kirsty is from Thatcham and first met Nathan while studying at university in his Bristol base. Before their children were born, they ran a village pub west of Bath. They now have two school-age daughters and are keen to cater well for families and allow the pub’s car park to be used for school runs.
They have redecorated the pub and the new Venetian blinds give the pub a more contemporary look. Some original artwork by local student artists, on display, is offered for sale.
The Castle Inn, often used as a meeting place, will remain a community pub and an integral part of the village. Nathan is keen to get a darts team back in the pub which also sponsors the Cold Ash Boys & Girls Under 9 football team.
Improvement plans include fitting a new kitchen and rebuilding the shelter on the front terrace.
The six cask ales include Good Old Boy, Butcombe Original, London Pride, Sharp’s Atlantic Pale Ale and two changing guest ales. On a recent Cask Marque accreditation visit, the pub scored 100% to gain a plaque and certificate.
Popular events are the Monday quiz, Friday meat raffle and live music.
On the afternoon of Saturday 3 August 2019, while Maggie Hex was busy cleaning the kitchen, Nick Hex accepted a special award from Tim Thomas on behalf of West Berkshire CAMRA for 29 years service to the community at the Old Chequers, Thatcham and the Castle Inn, Cold Ash. If Nick and Maggie had stayed on at the Castle Inn a month longer they would have achieved 30 years. Sunday 4 August is the final opening day with Nick and Maggie running the Castle Inn. ‘Hexit day’ is 6 August! After clearing and cleaning on Monday and Tuesday, a new couple arrive to take over. Nick remembers that Courage Best and Webster’s Yorkshire Bitter were on the bar when they first took over. Since then, new handpumps have been added to provide a ‘permanent beer festival’. Good Old Boy, Butcombe Bitter and Indigenous Brewery Tickety Boo were among the beers available on Saturday. The CAMRA group enjoyed a few beers, in good condition, from their patio table in front of the pub. Nick and Maggie live in the village and although they are leaving the pub trade they plan to continue working for a while before retiring. Take Courage – Best Wishes & Good Luck!
The Craven Arms nestled in the small village of Enborne will be organising a number of events this summer to help celebrate CAMRA’s Summer of Pub campaign – an initiative to encourage pub-going over the summer months.
Starting with a quiz night on the first of the month, they are organising a number of events to encourage locals and visitors alike to head down to their pub this summer. Forthcoming activities include:
Outdoor BBQ and licensed bar with live music from the Newbury band Beatlejuice, who will be covering the fab four hits in their own unique way. Visit from 12 pm noon for food and 4-6pm live music on Saturday 6th July
Quiz night on the first Monday of every month – the next quiz will be the 5th of August
Garden party with a BBQ and live music from Newbury band Mash, covering all your favourite hits both new and old from 5-7pm on Saturday 10th August
Summer Ale Amble with the local CAMRA branch, Saturday 27th July
Country Day including a BBQ, hog roast and bar from 12 noon – grab your cowboy hats and join our bar dance from 4-6pm with Liam Barnes and Dave Dart on Saturday 24th August