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CISSBURY TAP - FINDON VALLEY
Opened by Ray Dumbleton, then licensee of the Fletchers Arms opposite Angmering Station.

Originally the Cissbury Tap, it was purchased by Tony Hempson in 2003 and renamed the Caledonian Bar reflecting his time as an ex Flight Engineer with Caledonian Airways.

Since 2009, it has been under the new management of Dan Grispino and renamed the Valley Bar, with a definite sporting theme.

 
   

"For years, Findon Valley had a pub - well, a hotel actually. The Cissbury Hotel was a big brick between-the-wars affair on the west side of Findon Road, similar to many other structures all over the south. The brewer was Charrington - in fact it may have been built by them. Jimmy Hastell's excellent Worthing Pubs site has a picture of the place when it was open. A recent reprint of a Freddie Feest article in the Herald blames a fifth columnist drinker in the Cissbury for blowing the gaffe on the Dieppe Raid (1942) to the Nazis - the pub was full of billeted Canadians awaiting that disastrous attack. It wasn't quite like that in my day. Although it was never exactly heaving (though the public bar, which attracted a few people out of the equine industry down from Findon, could get a bit lively) it was inconceivable that it could close. Hell, it was a timing point on both bus and coach. But close it did, and long before the current epidemic of pub closures.

This bar opened not long afterwards. As the Caledonian Bar, it had an aviation theme reflecting the previous career of the landlord at the time with the former airline British Caledonian. At the time this picture was taken, it had not long been taken under new ownership and refurbished as seen. In fact only seconds after this picture was taken, I found myself in conversation with the new gaffer, whose attention had probably been alerted by the person looking at me through the window. I flashed my "I've watched this area change these fifty years, you know" card and all was well. He had a nice, small selection of period Valley pictures on the wall.

Back in the days when the Valley was a real autonomous shopping centre and its mostly rather aged denizens could literally buy almost anything in the King's Parade, this was a shoe shop. The Valley Bar isn't a pub, but it's a lot better than nothing".

By Johnny Rooke