The Greyhound

Nr Wootton, Oxford

About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know us better...

History

Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.

Considering it is a venerable old building, it has to date proved surprisingly difficult to track down the history of the Greyhound, but the best estimate has it that the pub is about 400 years old. It was a former coaching inn that stood on one of the major turnpike roads from Oxford to the West Country, and as such at one time it had a blacksmith's forge attached to the pub to the facilitate re-shoeing of horses.

Above is a photograph of an outing from the Greyhound at the turn of the century. Organised outings to places of interest were common and were often arranged by Friendly Societies as in this case. Working people joined these Friendly Societies in order to enjoy the social occasions, as well as for the important aspects of saving and sickness benefits in an era when the NHS didn't exist.

It is believed the Greyhound was a Morland Brewery property. A farmer, John Morland, set up a brewery in 1711 in West Ilsley in Berkshire, and the local ale and porter was sought after in London's public houses. During the 1860s, Morland acquired the Child family's Abbey Brewery in Abingdon and then the Eagle Brewery, also in Abingdon and the whole operation re-located there in 1880. Over the following century, the brewery took over and closed some seven breweries in the area, before itself being purchased and closed by Green King in 2000. Such is the predatory nature of the brewery business.

1818, the Innkeeper at
the Greyhound was Alfred White

In 1818, the Innkeeper at the Greyhound was Alfred White. He was a busy man, for he also ran a bakery, the village shop and a forge. He became interested in the workings of bells following his instruction in the art of campanology when the three bells at Appleton Church were recast into a ring of six, and he decided to use the forge to facilitate his work with bells, and many oak bell frames were constructed in the yard at the rear of the pub. He started trading as A. White, Bellhanger and eventually took his sons into the business and traded as A. White & Sons. Even in these early days he was doing work all over the country, including work at several Cathedrals, and to this day Whites of Appleton Ltd is the oldest continuously trading bell hanging company in the United Kingdom.

In the second world war, American Troops were billeted in a tented camp in Besselsleigh. Peter Nurse describes his time at Besselsleigh as an evacuee during the second world war: "Then there was the arrival of the Americans - I believe it would have been during 1942 that they were first sighted. They were so different to our troops - their uniforms were so much smarter and their accents were very strange to us then. They established a tented camp just up the road from the Greyhound at Besselsleigh and naturally it became their local. This was viewed with mixed feelings by the locals as beer was in short supply and the Yanks were drinking most of it!"

This photo was taken a little later in the 1950's when the road came right up to the front of the pub. This photo was supplied, very kindly by Jeffrey Heavens who has also given us a brief description of his time as landlord:

My family had a 61 year connection to The Greyhound. My Grandparents, William and Edith Cook took over the tenancy in 1927 and after William died Edith carried on until I took over in 1963. My wife Isobel and I ran the pub until 1988 when it had become famous for the jacket potatoes that we sold, in fact most of the people around here referred to it as the "Spud Pub".

He has also provided us with a great piece of information about the Greyhound sign: The Greyhound depicted on the sign is part of coat of arms of the Lenthal family, The First Speaker of the House of Commons, who, at one time owned the pub as part of their estate.

If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


Front of house

Ryan

Manager

Ryan, our trusty captain of the ship! Ryan has newly joined Brunning and Price but in no way is he new to the pub trade. Having been landlord at his last pub for over 9 years, he comes with a range of experience. In his down time Ryan is a sportsman at heart, whether it be playing for the local pool league or taking a turn around the golf course.

Owen

Deputy Manager

Everyone meet Owen, when Ryan's not around he's the man in charge. Owen has recently joined us from his old pub down in Kent where he spent 6 years gaining knowledge and now sharing it with us. He enjoys getting out and about on his bike and drinking rum but not at the same time :)

Abby

Assistant Manager

Abby is a well known face at the Greyhound. She has been with Brunning and Price for over 7 years, starting at the Falcon in Banbury, but has found her home with us. Have a question about the best gin we have, Abby is the person to ask! Her love for her cat Mac is unconditional and can you blame her, look how cute he is.

Carolyn

Assistant Manager

Carolyn is a well recognised member of the local community having run a local post office for many years with her husband. The time has come for a change though so she is now treading the boards at the Greyhound having worked her way up to Assistant Manager. Carolyn loves nothing more than a sunny holiday to top up her tan.

Alice

Supervisor

Alice has worked in pubs all her life and is using her knowledge to keep the bar in check. Alice is a mother to her son Hunter of 6 years, when Alice isn't at work she makes and sells her own fragrance products.

Charlotte

Bar/Waiting

Charlotte was born in Appleton, a little village not too far from the Greyhound. Her family run a local farm which is home to cows, sheep and even REINDEER! During the Christmas months Charlotte splits her time between us and the Christmas Barn her family run, selling Christmas trees and lots of decorations. We wish she could be with us here more but we cherish the time we do have her.

John

Bar/Waiting

Need a hand lighting a fire? John is the man for the job. Training to be a fully qualified tree surgeon, John has found a passion for hospitality. Although he is used to being high up amongst the birds, he spends his weekends with us with a big smile on his face.

Jack

Bar/Waiting

Jack works with us part time, on a Wednesday and Thursday evening after finishing his main job in alarm security. He's always a great laugh on shift and keeps us all entertained with stories from the weekend. When Jack isn't playing football you'll often find him down at the Newbury Races.


Kitchen

Ange

Kitchen Assistant

Ange has been with us since day one and knows everything that goes on in the kitchen. A master at prepping, if you have had a meal at the Greyhound, chances are Ange has made something on your plate. We call her the bionic woman as she has had two replaced hips, two knees, right shoulder, left elbow, six knuckles and a little toe! Better...stronger...faster!

Matty

Head Chef

Matty started with us as a kitchen porter and has worked himself up the ranks with hard work and determination, he also won our company food competition a few years ago so is a very talented chef to boot. Always up for 'bants and lol's', he is a 'lads lad' and never turns down the offer of a beer or two.

Emma

Senior Sous Chef

Emma not only holds her own with the lads behind the pass, she is the un-official boss of the Greyhound kitchen, making sure everyone's doing what they are supposed to. She has a little girl called Freya with her partner and loves nothing more than a good old shopping spree.

Nathan

Chef

Nathan's been with us for just over a year now, after joining us from the local Co-op in Wootton to work alongside his older brother Matty. When Nathan gets a weekend off he loves to spend time with his nephew.

Ben

Chef de Partie

Ben's been working at the Greyhound for 7 years now starting off front of house as an Assistant Manager but then decided to persue his passion for cooking and joined the back of house team. Ben reckons he's the best looking chef at Brunning & Price.

Speed

Senior Chef de Partie

Speed by name and speed by nature, when he is not whizzing around the kitchen John is careering down a mountain on his bike, racing in competitions. John rarely relaxes but on occasion he will unwind after work with his preferred drink, elderflower presse.

Tiago

Senior Chef de Partie

Tiago is our ex head chef. He left to pursue other interests but the draw of the pass was too strong and he now does the odd shift to help out when needed. Originally from Brazil he brings that carnival energy to his time in the kitchen.


Maintenance

Rebecca

Cleaner

Rebecca is not only one half of the best cleaning duo in the company, making the Greyhound the cleanest pub you've ever seen. She also takes care of our decorations and interior design with a keen eye for detail. Rebecca is always on the look out for a bargain when shopping for decorations and has a very witty sense of humour.

Debbie

Cleaner

Debbie was a real find! She has a great smile and a happy personality, she is a local girl, and when she came for her interview it turned out her and Linda used to work together years ago. She also loves gardening so her coming here was written in the stars. Debbie used to work unsociable hours in a kitchen, and now she has more time on her hands she plans on spending more time with her husband.