By John Wellard
Many locals of Upper Brents (myself included) and the nearby Barnfield Estate have mourned the closing of the Brents Tavern earlier this year. A fine example of a traditional local, the Brents was more than just a pub. Well run by landlords Angie and Clive it also served as a community centre where various groups including the local RAF Association, The Upper Brents Residents Association and a pensioners' lunch club could meet. Well managed, impeccably clean and tidy and with beverages at prices (it being a free house) verging on the philanthropic and a remarkable selection of liqueurs and spirits, the Brents was also a popular venue for birthdays, wedding receptions and wakes where Angie would lay on a spread to do the occasion proud. Thus the Brents Tavern will be sorely missed by its regulars.
The Brents was also unique in having a "bottle and jug" service - a counter to the rear where on ringing a bell off sales including confectionary and various snacks and consumables could be purchased. Landlady Angie was also renowned for helping some of the locals who were having difficulties in filling in various documents demanded by governmental departments or local authorities - especially those concerning welfare and social services. Landlord Clive is probably most famous for his collection of assorted classic and chronicly stationary vehicles parked in front of the impressive Brents Georgian edifice. Many hopefuls would call by to tempt Clive into selling them - especially the two Lotus Elites which over the years had morphed into being small eco systems. All without success. But finally, all but the elegant Jolly Green Jowett have gone to make way for the future playground of the day nursery into which the Brents Tavern will soon be converted.
While ex-regulars are now obliged to find second homes, it should be remembered that Angie and Clive are at a stage in life where, like so many of us, the prospect of a more leisurely lifestyle becomes increasingly attractive. Running a pub - especially one like the Brents, is an incredibly taxing and time-consuming responsibility and they both deserve a long and fulfilling retirement for their services to the community. Good luck Angie and Clive!
Well done and many thanks!