On 6th August 2001, the Bear & Staff on Gateacre Brow reopened after extensive 'de-modernisation'. While the pub was closed, we were approached by a P.R. firm who had been engaged by the new owners to plan the re-launch. We told them of the occasion, in 1985, when the old stables were converted into a restaurant, and when - a week before the opening - the Gateacre Society was asked to 'confirm the story' that the Earl of Warwick had once stayed there, and been so impressed by the hospitality that he had allowed the innkeeper to display his bear-and-staff symbol. The Society's then Secretary had replied that this was almost certainly untrue; but the story was nevertheless prominently displayed (see picture) for many years afterwards!

This time, we supplied the 'real' history of the building: mentioning that the pub - the 'Bear and Ragged Staff' in the 18th century - was indeed named after the Earl of Warwick's crest, but probably only because this was an easily-recognisable symbol in the days when few could read and inns relied on their hanging signs for identification. Unfortunately, it seems our information arrived too late: because the new bar snacks menu repeats the legend of the satisfied Earl!

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Page created 16 September 2001 by MRC.