Wintles Brewery, Railway Inn, Lea; history & photos ?. (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, February 25, 2019, 23:46 (576 days ago) @ Gary2805

Hi Gary,
and beated welcome to the forum and website,
As MPG has suggested one "problem" I have finding information or even photos of the Railway Inn is that Lea village is in the "grey" area of the Glos-Herefordshire borders. I know of a few excellent books and websites discussing the old pubs in the Forest and Glostershire county, but none for Herefordshire. Similarly, that county isn't as well served for famiy history websites and suchlike as the FoD and Glos.

Knowing that parts of Lea have at times been within Glostershire, I've had a look at the Glos Archives website and their online search engine does give over 900 ! hits for "Lea". Personally I never seen to get along with this searchh engine, in this instance many of these relate to people named Lea, and not the place, and so on. However trying to search "Lea Railway" etc doesnt help at all, as this gives just 3 hits, none relate to the pub in any way. I suggest you need to either thoroughly search & browse the site yourself, or maybe visit Gloster Archives in person. In case you didn't know, be wary that altho the village is sometimes spelt as Leigh in old books, be warned that there is another larger village named Leigh in Gloucestershire, north of Gloster city.

This leaves you with the new-looking Herefordshire Archives website, who's search-engine I'm afraid I struggle with (again!). Hopefully you'll have more luck with it, or maybe contact or visit the Archives themselves.

You might also try the National Archives site, altho I suspect that will direct you to their regional centres. eg


Often this forum mentions the excellent "British History Online" website, an online portal for the information that has been collated within the Victoria County History books - a large set of "big red" books covering the whole country. Sadly not all the books have yet made the website - eg Longhope and Huntley volumes only went online last year, and they don't cover Lea. Worse still, not all the country has made the books, and Herefordshire is one of those areas which is still work-in-progress.
Althought the county gets a few mentions within lists, I cannot find any detailed content online at all.
Search here,

However, if you visit a main county library, or perhaps the Archives centres mentioned above, they may have the book format if they exist (to my surprise my local library, the main one for the London Borough in which I live, has a set of these across many shelves, but they are very old editions and were undoubtedly a massive investment to buy.
See here,

Finally, regarding photos or similar for the Railway Inn, Lea, if I were you I'd consider writing to the local newspapers (Ross, Newent etc), in the hope that someone can help you, or point you towards a book with an image in, probably one of the "Old Photo" series....

A problem I often have is that despite owning several books by Humphrey Phelps for example, all containing hundreds of old photos of the Forest, usually taken from old postcards, none of his books have indexes, so finding a particular place can be a real needle in haystack, I really must write my own index.

Searching online for old photos of Lea draws virtually no hits, presumably because it is such a tiny place on the edge of the county. For example I can find none here;

The usually prolific Frith postcards site has none.,herefordshire

The view on this site is, I think, the main A40 road thro' the village centre, with the Crown in the distance on righthand side of the road, so certainly not the Railway Inn.

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