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WIGMORE - WIGMORE ROAD 1925 to 2005

Built as the Wigmore Arms in 1925, it has been known under various guises until its final demise in 2005, when it was demolished and replaced with a block of flats.

Most will remember it as just the Wigmore Arms until 1985 when it became the 'Far Post' under the ownership of Malcolm Macdonald. The Far Post name reflected his famous football career which sadly ended at a young age of 29 due to a knee injury. Malcolm's ownership signified a time of change for the traditional pub. Gone were the familiar separate bars of the saloon, lounge, snug and Bottle & Jug (Off Licence) and in came the single sports bar, garden BBQ and restaurant style food.

 Nicky Macdonald (his then wife) even got a mention in the Egon Ronay Pub Guide of 1987. Sadly due to a personal problem and a failed business venture Malcolm decided to move on and left the pub trade. The pub was renamed The Wig & Pen. Today Malcolm Macdonald is now a radio presenter and speaker.


Murderer at the Wigmore. James Virrels sat at the bar of the Wigmore Arms on Monday the 29th of January 1951. The time was 11.40am and he was drinking a double rum served to him by the manager John Alfred Turrell. Virrels was a regular customer, but that day he said very little, for only 20 minutes earlier, he had murdered his landlady Alice Roberts in nearby Kingsland Road during an argument.

James Virrel was found guilty of stabbing Alice 40 times with a knife and five times with a wood axe. He was hanged at Wandsworth prison on Thursday 26th of April that year by Albert Pierrepoint, Britainís last hangman. 

Pictured Left - John Alfred Turrell, manager 1945 to 1957, landlord 1957 to 1977 (left) and Walter Terry landlord in the 1930s

Chelsea pensioner Bill Cross, 92, formerly from Worthing, spoke of his memories of being posted in Broadwater during the war. "I came home to Worthing for D-Day. I was in Broadwater. It was all evacuated. There was a pub in Broadwater, the Wigmore Arms, or the Swigmore as we knew it. "It's where we all had a drink before D-Day."

(Worthing herald Published Date: 12 June 2008)

Richard and Margaret Sheppard. Margaret is the daughter of the late John Turrell who became the tenant landlord in 1957 to 1977 until ill health forced his retirement. Margaret's mother ran the pub until 1981 - something the brewery weren't to keen on at the time. Margaret and Richard took over from 1981 to 1985.

 
 

 

Wigmore Athletic in 1950 - now playing as Worthing United
   
   

It is easy to forget what part pubs used to play in the community. As we can see above the Wigmore supported not only a football team but also a darts team too.

Pictured left, A winners cup is rescued from an equipment store fire in garden of the Wigmore.

   
The beginning of the end  
Today: No one would have any idea what stood on that spot before.
   

 Published on Friday 15 October 2004. Worthing Herald

DRINKERS at an historic Broadwater pub have vowed to support their publican in his battle to save it from demolition. Owners of the Wig and Pen in Wigmore Road have submitted plans to bulldoze the 78-year-old alehouse and build a block of 12 flats in its place. But publican Simon Dowling, who took over only 12 weeks ago, said this week: "I will make it work. They just can't knock it down. It has got too much history."

He has held meetings with locals to draw up an action plan. A petition has been started and drinkers at the pub have said they will write to Worthing Council's planning department to officially register their opposition. Mr Dowling said: "Some of the customers are furious. I only found out about the plans after one of them came in and told me he had got a letter through his door.  When I took over the lease I was told it was a temporary one and that I had to build up trade and, if I was successful, they would give me a permanent lease. I haven't even been in here 12 weeks and they have told me the place is going to be demolished. I have just said to locals to think about the impact tearing this place down will have on the community. Do they really want to see 12 flats stuck up here in its place?"

Mr Dowling, who is in the middle of redecorating the pub, has just started a live music night and has also raised hundreds of pounds for local charity Tantara's Wish. It was established by the Stillwell family, from Broadwater, to raise money for research into genetic diseases because Allen Stillwell and two of his daughters suffer from a rare genetic disorder. Tony Malone, of the Worthing Society, said members had not seen the plans and could not comment on whether they would be officially objecting to them. He said: "Although of no particular architectural merit, it would be a shame to see the end of this landmark pub, formerly the Wigmore Arms, which has been a part of the Broadwater street scene for almost 80 years. It was originally designed for the Rock Brewery of Brighton and was named after the 6th Baron Wigmore."

The pub used to be run by former Newcastle and Arsenal striker Malcolm Macdonald. He ran the pub from 1985 to 1987 and changed its name from the Wigmore Arms to the Far Post. When he left, it reverted back to its original name and then, finally, the Wig and Pen. Current owners, Enterprise Inns, said it was not viable to offer a leasehold tenancy.

   

Known Landlords

1930s - Walter Terry
1945 - 1957 - John Turrell (Manager)
1957 - 1977 - John Turrell (landlord)
1977 - 1981 - Mrs Turrell
1981 to 1985 - Richard & Margaret Sheppard
1885 - ? Malcolm Macdonald
1998 - Became the Wig & Pen

 
   

Updated 17th feb 2013