All about us…
What career would two people, one with a Degree in Chemistry and the other with an HND in Ceramics, choose to pursue? Running a pub is not the obvious choice, but this is precisely the decision Chris & Jan Lloyd made back in 1969 after catching the bug when Jan managed a bar in Mike Cannon’s Dirty Duck in Walsall.
They acquired the tenancy of The Royal Exchange Inn in Stourbridge High Street for the princely rent of £4 17s. 6d. a week with the brewery picking up the bill for all the repairs and redecoration. How times have changed!
It soon became evident that the business had a sordid reputation, but this was soon turned round with some innovative ideas in the bars and the opening of a successful new restaurant on the first floor, the popular Papillon Bistro.
When the opportunity arose in 1976 to purchase the freehold of another run down pub in nearby Bournheath, this was eagerly taken. Sympathetically restored and then subsequently extended to cope with the increased trade, the Gate at Bournheath now boasts a fine Restaurant and Conservatory.
Each time they traveled at home or abroad, they would return with a new recipe or idea to add to their repertoire. Some such as the Tex Mex Steak and Cajun Blackened Steak have become the mainstays of a continually developing menu. In 2004 the Lloyd’s son Gareth and his partner Lucy Davies (both graduates) joined the team and are now in charge of the day to day management, bringing fresh ideas and concepts to the flourishing business. Chris and Jan still maintain an active interest behind the scenes. Chris with his Advanced Food Hygiene certificate is responsible for maintaining the continuing high standards of food safety for which the business is extremely proud.
And all about the pub…
Bournheath is a village which originated from the sweated labour of the nail making industry, the so called “White Slaves of England”.
Back in the nineteenth century the area was wild heath land and home to numerous poor squatters. These miserable wretches would eke out an existence toiling from dawn to dusk fashioning the iron rod they bought from the ironmaster into handcrafted nails, which the master would buy back for a pittance.
In order to get some release from this hell, the nail makers would slake their thirst with homebrew in the parlour of the local beer house, The Gate at Bournheath. The site itself has much greater antiquity. The cottage which stood here in 1611 was recorded in a description of the Manor of Bromsgrove as having an annual rent of 2/6d !!
Nowadays Bournheath is an affluent upmarket village and the Gate at Bournheath continues to offer a warm and friendly welcome to locals and visitors alike.
A Warm and Friendly Welcome with Good Food and Drink.