The Woolpack

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History

The Woolpack dates back to the early 1640’s, when the lower part of the building was built. Back then the main road through Slad was the little lane around the back of the pub. It was not until the late 18th Century that the road was altered to run as it does today, past the front of the building. This is when the upper part of the building was added.

The pub was sold to Stroud Brewery in 1900, and then on to Whitbread in 1963, before being sold to private ownership in the late 1980’s. In 1999 the pub was bought by present owner Daniel Chadwick and the Landlord is Matthew Clarke.

The most famous resident of Slad, Laurie Lee, immortalised the Woolpack in his autobiography ‚ÄėCider with Rosie‚Äô.

 

Laurie Lee LaurieLee

Laurie Lee was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 26th June 1914. His father moved to London during the First World War and never returned. In 1917 his mother moved the family to Slad, where Laurie attended the local school across the road from the pub, and unfortunately was permanently weakened by bronchitis and pneumonia during his time there. His teachers recognised his talent for writing, describing him as having a ‚Äústrong imagination‚ÄĚ and creating ‚Äúclever and amusing‚ÄĚ stories.

At the age of sixteen Laurie went to work for a local accountancy firm, but was unhappy with the work, and in 1934 decided to walk all the way to London, where he found work as a labourer. He continued to write poetry, having several poems published in regional newspapers, and winning a poetry competition in a national newspaper.

In 1935 Laurie travelled to Spain and ended up working and then later taking part in the Spanish Civil War until his return to England in February 1938. At the outbreak of the Second World War he attempted to enlist in the army but was rejected on health grounds. It was during the war years that Laurie became renowned as an important poet while working as a script writer with the Crown Film Unit and later the Ministry of Information publications division.

In 1950 Laurie married Katherine Polge and spent the winter of 1951-52 in Spain. Laurie continued to publish poetry, and in 1959 his autobiography Cider With Rosie was published to be followed by three more volumes:  As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969), I Can't Stay Long (1979), and A Moment of War (1991).

Laurie died in 1997 and is buried over the road at the Holy Trinity Church.