I visited and stayed at
the above pub on a number of occasions in the mid-seventies. At that time,
it was owned by a couple who had previously lived on Canvey Island (he was a
civil engineer) and they bought the pub. During Edward Heath’s years in
office as PM, the pub was designated a ‘safe house’ by the security
services. Mr. Heath wanted a small pub, close to Chequers, where he could
escape for a quiet pint. The owner built an extension with rooms and many
important meetings (cabinet, TUC) were held there. It was also used as a
quiet day for a State Visitor (The Emperor of Japan was one, I believe). As
soon as Heath left office, it was no longer used for that purpose.
I had many most
interesting conversations with the landlord when he described how he was
first approached and how, over a period of time, he became more and more
trusted and he preserved the ‘safe house’ status with no leaks.
I am sorry to hear that
I will not be able to pay a return visit.