Swindon born and bred John Stooke has always had a passion for a fine ale and now he’s taking his interest a step further by working on a book about local public houses that no longer exist in the town.
John, who is a committee member of the Swindon and North Wiltshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), has decided he’s going to update and enlarge on a previous book that was produced in 1984 called ‘Home Brewed’.
John said: “I plan to talk about events and happy memories. I want the book to be as readable as possible, a populist venture with many images and anecdotes and stories throughout the years. I want it to portray old characters and describe events. I want to get what we can down in print whilst these memories still exist. Retired landlords could be a terrific source of stories.”
He added: “In particular, I’m in search of drawings, posters, memorabilia, pub signs, maps, paintings, especially rare or unusual photographs, particularly any of the interiors of some of the old pubs, which are extremely difficult to find. I’m not expecting stories about the Lord Raglan, or the Wholesome Barrel, but of the 96 pubs on my list which have left us since 1800.”
This book is not a commercial venture as John is planning to self fund it and use it to raise money for a local charity that deals with homelessness.
He’s working with the Swindon Collection, the Swindon Society, the Swindon Museum, Steam Museum, Arkells, Wroughton History Group and different Parish Councils.
If you can help John with his search for relevant content, please email him at [email protected].