It wasn’t so long ago we remembered tiny pub the Smiths Arms in Godmanstone, a hostelry making the claim to be the smallest in England in its time.
We then moved on to recall pint-sized pub the Burdon Tap in Weymouth.
It was a delight to hear from Mrs Heather Byfleet, who wrote to Looking Back as her paternal grandparents were licensees of the Burdon Tap from 1928 to 1941.
She also shared with us another picture of this wonderful little pub, which was in Victoria Street opposite the rear of the Burdon Hotel (now the Prince Regent).
Read our original article on the Burdon Tap here
Mrs Byfleet, a Weymouth resident of 90 years, tells us: “My grandmother managed the ‘Tap’ from 1937 to 1941 on her own, after my grandfather Harry E. Hawkins died. Grandmas was Mrs Eva Hawkins – from a Weymouth family.”
And it would seem as though where, in this debate size really does matter, these two Dorset pubs lose out to a smaller pub elsewhere.
Mrs Byfleet writes: “I have been in all three pubs claiming to be the smallest. It was not the Burdon Tap or the Smiths Arms but the Nutshell at Bury St Edmunds. The Burdon Tap was like the Tardis from Doctor Who!
“It was bigger inside than just the public bar. It had a public bar a bit longer than what was described and a private bar which contained a dartboard with plenty of room for patrons. Behind the premises my grandmother had a quite large living room and a decent sized kitchen. The spare alcohol was kept in a locked room in the yard together with any extra barrels.”
Mrs Byfleet tells us that the wooden fence to the right of the building was later replaced by a brick wall (white tiled) and a secure gate.