The Star Hotel: A Flash from the past

14:07 20 December 2012

Edwin Butter with Flash, the "wildest pony", and poodle Muffy hitching a ride on his back.

Edwin Butter with Flash, the "wildest pony", and poodle Muffy hitching a ride on his back.

Archant

Sisters Marie Bond and Susan Hoare recount their time at the New Street pub and memories of Flash - the “wildest” pony.

As the former Star Inn, Honiton, gets set to undergo its latest transformation, two sisters recount another era in the vast history of the New Street pub.

Marie Bond and Susanne Hoare (nee Butter) moved into the Star Hotel, as it was previously known, when their parents, Edwin and Edie, took over the pub on December 7, 1955 - 57-years ago this month.

They moved to the town from Sidmouth where their parents ran the Conservative Club for three years.

Susanne said: “We would like to come and see it before they start work on it.”

The pub has been taken over by pub chain J D Wetherspoon, which recently completed the purchase of the site.

Marie and Susanne told the Midweek Herald that the pub has undergone a few changes over the years.

They said, when they lived there, it had a “beautiful” walled garden and stables where they kept pigs, turkeys and “the wildest pony”.

Susanne said: “There were stables there and two years later Father went down to Bampton Fair and bought the wildest pony he could find - Flash.”

From then on, Flash was a regular in the pub and enjoyed half a pint of bitter from the slop trays with fellow drinkers.

He caused plenty of mischief in the town together with apricot poodle Muffy.

Marie and Susanne explained that their parents would often receive calls from residents saying Flash and Muffy had escaped and had been spotted running around the town.

Flash was later sold to a local riding school when Susanne could no longer ride him.

Both the sisters helped behind the bar and said some of the customers would pay their tabs with cigarette boxes and even steak. The most expensive beer back then would have cost around one tuppence ha’penny.

Susanne said: “You normally could rely on who would be in the bar.”

One memory that has stuck in their minds was Hilda Bilson, who used to run the wool shop, and would hang her washing in the pub garden because she had no room in her own garden.

Susanne added: “I think it was a nicer place to live in those days because you all knew everybody.

“You knew all the traders - the butcher and the baker.”

J D Wetherspoon is due to start work on the former Star Inn any time now with a view to opening the site in March or April next year.

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