James BRAIN, innkeeper in Cinderford. (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, February 13, 2017, 00:31 (1320 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

BNA Gloucester Journal - Saturday 26 April 1941

Mr and Mrs James Brain, formerly of Cinderford, have celebrated their Golden Wedding in Gloucester. Mr and Mrs Brain were in business in Cinderford for many years. They kept the Old Bell public house at the bottom of the High Street, and when that was closed they went to the Railway Hotel, near the station. Just before the Great War Mr and Mrs Brain took a boarding house in George Street, Gloucester, and they have now been in retirement for about 10 years. Two daughters, Mrs Godfrey Moffatt, the Welsh Harp, London Road and Mrs S. May, the Railway Hotel, Bristol Road, are engaged in similar business in Gloucester.

It appears that the 1901 Census posted earlier was at the Bell Inn. I'm from Cinderford but it's a new name to me, I cannot find any mention of it anywhere in this forum or elsewhere online. The only reference that I can find in a book, sorry no pictures, states that "this Beerhouse called the Bell Inn was purchased by Alfred Wintle before passing to Wintle's Forest Brewery at Mitcheldean. James Brain was recorded at the Bell in 1903 and may have been the last beer tender before it closed in 1911".

James is listed in this 1902 Trade Directory, presumably at the Bell.

The family then went to the Railway Hotel, opposite Cinderford Station and a far bigger and better-known concern, and hopefully doing good trade pre WW1 when the station was still an important link for Cinderford.
This first photo could almost have been taken from the roof of the Railway Hotel.

The Railway Hotel can be seen in the background of this photo, just right of centre with red roof.

This pub was still in business until long after the station was closed and redeveloped into a housing estate, eventually closing c2007 and due to be redeveloped for flats in 2016.

Full history and photos here


Re Mrs Godfrey Moffatt, The Welsh Harp, 36 London Rd, Gloucester;
another popular pub and rare music venue now closed, see

I wonder if it's coincidence that a Grantley BRAIN was landlord before James Brain's son-in-law Godfrey Moffatt ?? --- see below.

Surname First name(s) Spouse District Vol Page
Marriages Dec 1927 (>99%)
BRAIN Emily B Moffatt Gloucester 6a 746
MOFFATT Godfrey H Brain Gloucester 6a 746


Re Mrs S.May, Railway Hotel, Bristol Road, Gloucester; see


Surname First name(s) Spouse District Vol Page
Marriages Dec 1915 (>99%)
Brain Annie M M May Gloucester 6a 879
May Alfred S Brain Gloucester 6a 879


Re Grantley Brain, these are 3 of only 4 records for this name on the whole FreeBMD website !

Surname First name(s) Age District Vol Page
Births Mar 1875 (>99%)
BRAIN Grantley Monmouth 11a 30

Surname First name(s) Mother/Spouse/Age District Vol Page
Marriages Sep 1937 (>99%)
Brain Grantley Rudge Gloucester C. 6a 1192
Rudge Ethel M B Brain Gloucester C. 6a 1192

Surname First name(s) Mother/Spouse/DoB District Vol Page
Deaths Sep 1969 (>99%)
BRAIN Grantley 10Fe1875 Gloucester C 7b

Full census details on free FamilySearch site,


1901 Pillowell, St Pauls Parkend, West Dean (Gloucs), Monmouthshire, England
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Absolom Brain Head M 72 Living on own means. West Dean, Gloucestershire
Fannie Brain Wife F 56 West Dean, Gloucestershire
William Brain Son M 27 Coalminer hewer. West Dean, Gloucestershire
Grantley Brain Son M 25 Coalminer hewer. West Dean, Gloucestershire
Tom Brain Son M 15 Laborer at coalmine. West Dean, Gloucestershire
Fred Jones Boarder M 28 Coalminer hewer. West Dean, Gloucestershire
Charlie Powell Boarder M 20 Bootmaker. Sondley, Gloucestershire

Earlier census' show Absolom was skilled, an "engineer" in 1861, and "Engine driver" in 1871;

1871 Pillowell, St Pauls Parkend, West Dean (Gloucs), Monmouthshire, England
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Absalome Brain Head M 42 Engine driver. Pillowell, Gloucestershire
Fanny Brain Wife F 27 Moseley Green, Gloucestershire
Lydia Brain Daughter F 8 Yorkley, Gloucestershire
Thomas Brain Son M 3 Pillowell, Gloucestershire
Louisa Brain Daughter F 0 Pillowell, Gloucestershire

Record_ID: 14813
Entry_Number: 103
Year: 1865
Month: Dec
Day: 30
Grooms_Surname: BRAIN
Grooms_Forenames: Absalom
Grooms_Age: 32
Groom_Condition: Batchelor
Grooms_Occupation: Engine driver
Grooms_Residence: Pillowell
Grooms_Fathers_Surname: Brain
Grooms_Fathers_Forenames: William
Grooms_Fathers_Occupation: Collier
Brides_Surname: KEAR
Brides_Forenames: Frances Elizabeth
Brides_Age: 22
Brides_Condition: spinster
Brides_Occupation: [not stated]
Brides_Residence: Moseley
Brides_Fathers_Surname: Kear
Brides_Fathers_Forenames: Thomas
Brides_Fathers_Occupation: Collier
Licence_or_Banns: license
Signature_or_Mark: Both sign
Witness_1: John Shingleton Elsworth
Witness_2: Henry Gunter
Officiating_Minister: Jo[hn] Jo[seph] Elsworth incumbent
Event: Marriage
Register_Reference: P245 IN 1/21
Page_Number: 52
Parish_Chapel: Parkend
Soundex_Groom: B650
Soundex_Bride: K600

So not obviously linked to the Ruardean BRAINS, not a rare surname in the area, more work needed.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum