Arkell’s Brewery is delighted to announce the purchase of The Southbrook, on Southbrook Street, Swindon. The brewery is only the third owner of the pub since it was converted from a farmhouse into a pub some time during the mid 20th century.
Brewery managing director, George Arkell, said: “There are very few pubs like The Southbrook left, not only in Swindon but probably in the south of England. It sits within a strong local community drawn from the residential estates that have grown up around it since Swindon started to grow in the 1950s. It’s a proper town pub with pool and darts teams, and serving traditional pub food and real ales. It’s the sort of pub for which Arkell’s is known best in Swindon. We are thrilled to be its new owners.”
Arkell’s bought The Southbrook from Bob and Gina Downing who have retired after 27 years. The new landlord is 29-year old Dave Kearns, who has extensive experience of running pubs across Swindon and near Colchester, Essex. Dave has lived in West Swindon for most of his life.
“It’s great to get behind The Southbrook bar,” he said. “The pub is right in the middle of Ferndale and it’s got lots of space. We’ve kept on the staff, including our brilliant cook Tina who produces some of the best Sunday dinners in town. This is going to be a family friendly food pub.”
The Southbrook was originally a farmhouse, Arkell’s understands. “We’re told it became a pub when the farmland was sold off around it, and was first run by the farmer’s daughter,” said George. “We would love to know more about the history and urge local historians to get in touch.” There are two large bars and a very big function room at the back, probably where the old farm buildings were incorporated into the main house. This is often used as a pool hall but is also available for parties and events.
The locals have welcomed the new face behind the bar. “I took over last Friday,” said Dave. “The locals were very welcoming and so many came in that they almost drank us out of beer. It’s great to be part of the Swindon community.”