From its position, anciently on the turnpike between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, the Odessa has had a long history as wayside House.It was first Licenced as a full house in 1864 although it could have been a beer-house before that date.
The Odessa was once a pair of farmworkers’ cottages which was knocked together to form a beerhouse c.1845.
It was first referred to as the Odessa in 1864. The pub is named after a bloody conflict in the Crimean War - the pub sign shows fully rigged English and French men o’war slugging it out against the Russians at Odessa during the opening gambit of the Crimean War in March 1854.
How it actually got its name is a mystery but it is likely that it was named after an ex landlord / resident returning back home from the Crimean War.
The landlord of the Odessa Inn between 1962 and 1982, Albert Hamblin, was a popular character. He served with the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Royal Engineers before becoming involved in the pub trade.
At the Odessa Inn Albert kept pigs, sheep and goats. He was the treasurer of the Tewkesbury branch of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association for many years. He retired in 1982 to look after his wife Eileen who was terminally ill. Albert died in October 2003.
EDIT...The name Odessa inn may actually refer to the trade in wheat that was happening during the 1840s between Odessa (Russia) and Gloucester. It may have been that wheat was transported along the Severn and the pub may have been a reference to that.
Here is a reference to a boat called the Caledonia which was heading from Odessa, heading for Gloucester that was lost in a storm near Cornwall.
1842 wreck of Scottish snow which stranded near Morwenstow. This wooden sailing vessel, built in 1839, was en route from Odessa to Gloucester with wheat. The figurehead was formerly in the churchyard of the Church of St. Morwenna and St. John the Baptist (32144), as a memorial to the wrecked crew buried there, but since 2008 has been restored and placed in the church for safekeeping, with a replica where the figurehead once stood. The vicar at the time was the well-known Rev. R. S. Hawker, famous for his association with the many wrecks in the area.
The CALEDONIA, a 200 ton brig from Arbroath in Scotland, loaded coffee in Rio de Janeiro for the ports of Syria, Smyrna and Constantinople. From Turkey she passed into the Black Sea to load wheat at Odessa for ultimate discharge at Gloucester. By September 5th the vessel had arrived at Falmouth Roads; from there she proceeded on the last leg of her voyage along the Cornwall coast before entering the Bristol Channel. The weather worsened and by the early hours of the 8th a strong NNW gale was blowing, which drove the vessel toward the leeside shore. At three o'clock in the morning she struck rocks at Vicarage Cliffs, Morwenstow, on the Cornwall/Devon border.
Aditional details :
Map Reference: SO 893298
Owner in 1891: John Arnold & Co., High Street, Wickwar
Rateable value in 1891: £26.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: John Arnold & Co., High Street, Wickwar
Rateable value in 1903: £20.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm (unusual for its rural location)
Brewery Heritage: Etched windows
1864,1868 Thomas Jones
1891,1904 David Finch
1904-1917 Joseph Stallard
1917-1923 Lambert Barnes
1923-1924 Abel Jordan
1924-1935 Thomas Jordan
1935-1941 Percy J. Gibbs
1941 Raymond Walker
1962-1982 Albert Hamblin (died October 13th 2003)
1993 - Present Julie and Graham Burton
(Source - http://www.gloucestershirepubs.co.uk/AllGlosPubsDatabase/RAIGConnection.php?pubid1=2195)
Entry in the Diary of William Thomas Swifty (of Churchdown)
21st May 1872
On foot to Tewkesbury via Stoke Orchard and Tredington
At the 'Odessa' Inn on Gloucester - Tewkesbury road "a pedlar came in who discoursed at full length on Political Economy, etc, he seemed very well informed and gave us lots of fun"
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