The new landlord of a Herefordshire village pub that traded for over ten years without a licence says he is relieved the problem is now sorted.

The Wheelwrights Arms in Pencombe near Bromyard was taken over by local firm Cramar Leisure earlier this year. But when the firm applied to change the licensee, it found no such licence had existed for more than a decade.

“It has been a struggle but we are on the right side of it,” the pub’s new manager Rob James said.


Herefordshire Council confirmed that the licence permitting the pub to serve between 11am and 11pm seven days a week, with an extension to 1am on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, bank holidays and Sundays before bank holiday Mondays, had been granted.

It has also said it will not pursue the matter of the pub’s previous licence-less trading.


Mr James explained that the pub had managed to trade in the intervening period via so-called temporary event notices, or TENs.

Hereford Times: Rob Davies, new landlord of the Wheelwrights Arms, PencombeRob Davies, new landlord of the Wheelwrights Arms, Pencombe (Image: Rob Davies)

“Everyone thought it was us that had been trading without a licence,” he said. “Now we just want the place to flourish.

“We want to take it back to its roots, with traditional ales from our cold cellar and pub grub. It has great character and history, and is well supported by the locals.”