And The Surrounding District

The Plume and Feathers

Page :2    Hilldene

Public Houses

The Plume of Feathers, 2017

Although the pub was rarely open all day, this sign remains in place.

“At the beginning of the 1980’s the pub kept irregular hours for a couple of years but in 1984 new tenants Gordon and Ann Simmons returned to traditional opening times and retained the pub’s simple character. Running a pub was a new venture for Gordon, who had previously been regional manager for a large motoring company for 20 years. In the last 15 years (up to 2012) there have been numerous tenants and the present incumbent has been there since the spring of 2012 after the pub had been closed for about four months. The small beam decked bar is the oldest part of the pub, which also has a small side room with darts and television and a separate dining area.”

The Pubs of The Malverns, Upton & nearby Villages by Tony Hobbs.

In 2011, an extension to the Licence was applied for to hold musical events.

In about 2012, Malvern Hill Conservators registered their land with the Land Registry, including the verges. Although the verge (ungrassed) extended across the entrance to the car park, they decided not register this.

The Plume of Feathers (Castlemorton) Ltd, registered office Fairways, Pendine, Carmarthen was incorporated 21 March 2012 and the Director is Brian Antony Crews. The service address was 40 Northmead, Ledbury. He held the only share. In March 2015 the registered address was changed to The Plume of Feathers itself. Profits for 2013 were £2335 and for 2014, £6751. This is presumably a management company set up to operate the Plume of Feathers. Brian Clews gave up running it of it and the pub closed in November 2016. He continues to run The Robin Hood further down Gloucester Road.

2015-2017 several unsuccessful planning applications to turn either of the two shed-like buildings on the south of the property into a one bedroomed cottage.

From about 1977 to 1992, Pete and Barbara Mason and ran the pub together, sometimes with other renting it from them. In 1993, they married. Barbara remembers workers from the construction of the M50 coming to the Café for breakfast every day. The pub was the only one in the area to have a full licence to sell beer, cider and spirits.


1839-1851     Charles Beaman

1860-1881     Thomas Taylor

1891-1902     William Carver

1902-     Sam Davis from Bromsgrove (25 October. William Carver had died at the Inn on 29 September aged 43)

1903-     Thomas Harrod (temporary transfer of Licence to him – he ran the Talbot Inn at Upton)

1906-          Thomas Davis

1919          Henry Richard William Weaver

1921-          T H Lawrence

1928          George Edward Jones

Early 1930’s     Arthur Taylor Davies

Early 1940’s     Owen & Ada Davies

1959-          Peter & Thelma Wilkes

1977-1992     Peter & Barbara Wilkes

1992-          Peter Wilkes with various tenants, including:

November 2005-April 2006 Emma Letitia Harvey

2012- November 2016 Brian Antony Crews

The Old Feathers

The building was originally agricultural and was converted by Peter Wilkes into a café in the 1950’s and was run by Peter Wilkes’s mother, Dorothy, who was an excellent cook. It was frequented by walkers, especially from the hills, and also sold ice cream. In the early 1960’s, Gillian Brookes (1932-2016) served breakfasts and afternoon teas at The Feathers Café, as it was then known. Customers of the Plume of Feathers would have a few drinks at lunchtime and the go to the café.

The café used to have a large hay store. The large doors are visible in the phot below. Lots of courting took place there.

The Farthings, 2012

The Farthings was built after 1970.

Peter Wilkes lives in The Farthings with this third wife, Suchada (Angel) and their son.

Hilldene was built by Dorothy and Jack Wilkes in 1968 on the southern part of the long field. (Dorothy Edith M nee Hitchcock, 1911-2002) Thelma moved in there to nurse her. Subsequently, she lived there with her partner Harold Kitchen (1938-2010).


Bish remembers the beer being so cold that you could take hot poker from the fire to warm it up. Once he cracked the glass and Pete tied it together with baling twine. He also recalls asking for food once and Pete brought him a picture of pie and said that was close it he was going to get.

I remember a rather posh couple, who did not know the area, calling in for lunch, when I was having a drink there. She looked at the meu, went up to the bar and asked the young man and asked him “What is the provenance of these sausages”, to which he replied “I think she gets them from Bookers”.

I also remember the annual beer festival. One year the couple running the pub fell out and left shortly afterwards. Usually, you could buy a pint for £1 for a few days afterwards as they sold off the remains of the barrels of beer. This year no luck, after a row the taps had been opened and the remaining beer drained onto the lawn.


British Newspaper Archive

Census Records

Eastnor Archives

Recollections from Thelma Wilkes

From the Archives:-

Samuel Davis, The Feathers, Castlemorton, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his licensed premises, and also for supplying liquor to a drunken person. Mr. W. W. A. Tree prosecuted, and Mr. Romney appeared for defendant. Mr. Tree reviewed the circumstances, which arose out of the recent conviction of Mr. H. Gossage for being drunk at the Feathers. Mr. Romney contended that defendant had no guilty knowledge of defendant's condition, and was away from home when he was served. This took place at a small window, where was only possible to see his head and shoulders, and it was not till Mr. Gossage went into the room that suspicion was aroused as to his condition. Defendant was sworn, and bore out this statement. He found Mr. Gossage at Welland, and was asked to take him to Upton. He could not, but offered to take him to the Feathers, and let someone then drive him to Upton. He did so, and left him at the Feathers, and went off with Mr. Wilcox business. In reply Mr. Tree, witness said he believed Gossage had been refused drink, but was not sure. He did not consider Mr. Gossage drunk, but he had evidently had drink. In reply to the Bench Supt. Male said that during the nine months the defendant had the house, no complaint had been brought against him, but had had occasion to warn him. A fine of £2 and costs was inflicted. In the second case the Bench consented to the withdrawal of the charge on payment expenses, including solicitor's fee, the total amounting to £5 2s. The Bench considered the little window an objectionable arrangement, and ordered it to be done away with forthwith, characterising as " regular drunkard's trap." 

Published: Saturday 15 August 1903 

Newspaper: Worcestershire Chronicle