Plasterers Arms Public House, Reading
Photograph - early 20th century
The photograph, probably from around 1920 when Thomas Henry Simmons was landlord, shows the Plasterers Arms on Rupert Street as it was until the late 1920s. It was a Fergusons beerhouse, but since 1914 when Morlands had taken an interest in the company the beer had been supplied by Dymore Brown & Son Ltd. The trend towards reducing the number of licensed premises can be observed locally and nationally at the beginning of the twentieth century. This was as a result of temperance considerations and concerns about drunkenness. The licensing magistrates considered refusing the licence on renewal on two occasions but the destiny of the Plasterers Arms was different.
Between the wars, there was a drive towards improving public houses so that they were pleasant and comfortable places to visit. In 1927 approval was given for the rebuilding of the pub in ‘Brewers Tudor’ style, popular at the time and was designed by Eric Steward Smith. In 1929 the pub acquired a wine licence. In the 1960s the parents of the broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg were the licensees and he worked behind the bar. The pub survived Newtown redevelopment in the 1970s but was closed in the 1990s and the pub building was demolished. Flats have now been built on the site.
From a set of 29 photographs of Reading pubs taken in the early 1920s.
Museum object number