LOOKING BACK - March 30, 2017 edition

Winn and Bernard Satchell
Winn and Bernard Satchell

The Central Hotel, Church Street

Pictures over the years of the Graziers Arms which became the Central Hotel, the first dates 1875. Notice how the windows have been changed over time. The building was demolished just a few years ago to make way for housing.

A mention of the retiring Squirrel Inn licensees, Charles and Jessie Twigger in our January 19 edition prompted Sherrell Satchell to get in touch, with this lovely piece about her husband John’s late parents Bernard and Winifred Satchell.

They were great friends with the Twiggers and ran the nearby Central Hotel from 1957 until 1975, when Winn became ill.

Everyone knew the Satchells, a very popular couple in Rugby. Winn may only have been 5ft tall, but she would handle any problems with customers. Bernard, at 6ft 2in, had been in the RAF during the war and a boxing champion, being a sparring partner to the likes of Freddie Mills.

After working as undermanager at Burtons in Rugby, Bernard went on to the Royal Oak in Great Glen, Leicestershire where boxing greats Johnny Williams and Jack Gardner used to meet. Later on Williams used to visit the Central to collect the pies for his pigs! From there the Satchells took on the Broomfield Tavern in Coventry’s Spon End and finally the Central.

From his RAF days Bernard knew Sir Frank Whittle and he and his wife were very good friends with the Satchells. He also knew Carl Dane, a circus strongman best known for banging the gong at the start of the old Rank films, who would visit them at the Central.

Enjoying his career, Bernard was one of the founder members of the Rugby Licenced Victuallers Association and on his retirement he and Winn moved into one of the LVA’s bungalows.