During 2003, as the possibility of the closure of the Pembroke Arms waxed and waned, our group became very concerned about the well being of the Nuttall collection of World War I Memorabilia on display there. Accordingly we made an inventory of the items involved, and established that the collection, being village property, should not feature in any future sale. Furthermore, with the agreement of the Nuttall family, the nominal owners of the collection, the Fovant History Interest Group took on responsibility for the well being of the collection.
In early 2005, The Pembroke Arms was sold. In order that the bar and restaurant could be redecorated the new owner welcomed our request to remove the collection temporarily in order to evaluate and catalogue it. During this interim period we were not only able to categorise the artefacts but to match their details on our existing database with similar items already in our possession. We then returned a mixture of old and ‘new’ material to the pub – a selection which we hope presented more fully the effect of the advent of the military into our village during World War I.
Time moved on. In late 2006, the pub changed hands again. The new landlord felt that the collection did not enhance his image of a pub, so, understandably, asked us to remove the artefacts. This we did and the collection was put into safe storage, until 2009 when a reduced collection was able to be displayed in the large bar.
However, in March 2011 the pub re-opened under a new landlord, who was keen to put more of the framed items back into the small bar, which he christened ‘The Fovant Bar’. As some of the frames had to be displayed high on the walls making the contents difficult to see, a small booklet containing both text and pictures was produced.
It is with disappointment that I now have to report that our pub, the Pembroke Arms, closed down on the 23rd August, 2012. Consequently we have removed our framed collection of World War I memorabilia. The frames, and copies of their accompanying booklet, are in safe storage.
We hope the pub will open again at some future time, but meanwhile the booklet can be accessed by clicking here to read a PDF file containing the details of each frame.
The World War I collection at the Pembroke Arms grew out of the need not only to emphasise the importance of preserving Fovant Badges for posterity, but also to publicise the work of Fovant Badges Society. That need is still there.
December 2006 to August 2012.
Content last updated
24 August 2012
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