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The Kingfisher at Preston

The Dog and Gun at Whetstone

The Changing Pub Landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland
Today I had to visit Oakham in Rutland and meander back to the M69. Here's a few observations and questions. The Bateman's-owned Kingfisher Inn at Preston in Rutland looked every bit closed. Apart from the name, the livery has been removed. Looks like Bateman's are rationalising their estate [they recently closed the Rose and Crown at Ripley in Derbyshire]. It's odd how this pub has seemingly struggled - the building fronts the main road to Uppingham and the pretty village seems to have enough population to support a pub - or maybe they're vicarious drinkers - ouch! I was surprised to spot Davenport's livery on the Fox and Hounds at Skeffington. I didn't realise they operated pubs in this neck of the woods. The Fox and Hounds is now beyond saving and looks in a terrible state. There seems to be some activity outside the Queen's Head at Wigston Magna - this has been closed for ages. I couldn't stop on the main road so I didn't get to see if it was going to be a pub once more or if it was being converted for other use. I notice that the only Oadby pub in the GBG is the Cow and Plough but the Black Dog looked interesting? The Bell looked a bit of a rough hole - do they sell any decent beers in this Festival Ale House? Again I couldn't pull up but I noticed the word brewery near to the railway bridge on Blaby Road - what's this Keith? There's a sorry sight at Blaby Bridge but it looks like art deco-styled County Arms was a flagship pub for a brewery years ago. Any info? One of the things I notice about the estate of Everard's is that the buildings always look tidy and in good order. This was the case at the Dog and Gun. The name above the door is Eileen Grant. Is she part of the family referred to in the Good Beer Guide? Any more info? Another tidy looking Everard's was found in Cosby. The Bull's Head has the traditional divide of quarry-tiled floor bar and comfy lounge. This place also houses Winley's Chinese Restaurant, a skittles alley and a heated patio. Is the beer crap because I see it isn't featured in the Good Beer Guide? Cosby is quite a pretty village with much of interest and ducks in front of all the pubs!! [there's a stream running through the village centre]. The Huntsman is being offered To Let by the Union Pub Company and the Blacksmith's looked top secret [closed and curtains drawn].
Kieron McMahon 2nd February 2005

The County Arms been closed for years but I don't know if Everard's still own it. We know about The Kingfisher - Grainstore Brewery also purchased the Good Beer Guide-entry pub The Old Plough at Braunston In Rutland just 2 miles west of Oakham on the Leicester Road. The Black Dog [Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries] is good but The Fox [Everard's] next door is also good. The pubs in Cosby all seem to be average or crap. We last visited The Bull's Head 18 months ago, no reason to rush back. I hope the contra flow on the Leicester end of the M69 didn't cause too long a delay on your journey home.
Keith Williams, Chairman Leicester CAMRA Branch 3rd February 2005

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