Almost three years after initial plans were submitted to the council the Jolly Weavers pub on South Bar, Banbury, has re-opened as the V-Lounge.
The re-opening becomes part of the popular Voujon Indian restaurant next door and the restaurant has maintained the historic link to the pub by naming it, the V-Lounge@The Jolly Weavers.
The Grade II listed building has been a drinking establishment for as long as the town’s folk can remember and has an important historical context for the South Bar area of Banbury.
Between 1740 and 1840 the streets around South Bar, the Bloxham Road and Milton Street were home to the many weavers of shag, more commonly referred to as plush . The weaving of the plush was carried out in small workshops, cottages and homes and the resulting product was then taken to the masters of the time.
During the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th century production reached its peak, and the industry’s prosperity was unrivalled. Writing at this time, Arthur Young suggested a figure as high as 1,000 weavers were involved in and around Banbury.
As a consequence Banbury became world famous for the production of shag or plush and the Jolly Weavers was the last remaining hint of this bygone age.
The Banbury Civic Society was instrumental in maintaining this link.
Rob Kinchin-Smith, chairman of the society, said at the time: “ We don’t have any issue with it becoming part of Voujon but we do have an issue about the loss of its name.”
Then town councillor Ann Bonner said: “In this case I do agree with the Civic Society. I support the extension to the restaurant which is all to the good.”