A Bit Of History
Although we do not know the exact date The Woodman was built we do know it was some time before 1895 when this picture was taken, this particular style of building was in use from the mid 16th century and there are still some barn buildings just outside the village in this style that do date from that time.. We believe this photograph was taken as a ‘last hurrah’ prior to the wood facing being removed & the building being bricked around the original frame, this is now our ‘middle bar’ with the doors in pretty much the same position as they were ‘back in the day’. During the 1850's the landlord was John Goodchild, (we are currently investigating a reference in the Bromley Archives to John Goodchild storing a coffin for Charles Darwin in our attic). The Goodchild’s have owned various businesses in and around the village for many years, during the 1860's Charles Goodchild was the landlord of ‘The New Inn’ (now the Change of Horses). Our beer prior to 1900 was provided by ‘Fox and Sons’ whose brewery was just down the road in Green St. Green, you can see an etching of the brewery & a price list in our ‘top bar’. After the brewery closed in 1901 we became a ‘free house’ and our beer was supplied by Courage. Our ‘top bar’ appeared during the circa.1900 rebuild with the extension to the ‘bottom bar’ coming around the 1930's, the ‘nook’ and bottom bar toilets were connected to the pub some time later. From 1910 to 1950 the landlord was William Pearce, whose photo is in the top bar with his wife, Maud & son Roy who was born upstairs (in what is now our daughter’s room). Around 1945 William sold the pub to Courage but continued as the publican until 1950 when the family emigrated to Australia. We have been lucky enough to meet Roy & his family when they came over to the UK in 2012. The ‘Beer Orders Act’ in 1989 forced Courage to sell the building and for many years The Woodman was run with various managers for many different Pub Companies, the building is now owned by a subsidiary of The Ruben Brothers.
Shepherd Neame bought the lease to the pub in 1994 & their first landlord was Billy Aired (a former British Championship Boxer), with Terry & Sharon Pritchard taking over in 1999.
We were employed by Terry & Sharon in 2000 & 2001 respectively as bar staff, with Pete becoming their manager in 2004. In 2008 Terry retired as Landlord & we took on the Tenancy.