This article originally appeared in Strangehaven issue #2, September 1995.
The saddest news I heard since Strangehaven#1 went off to press was the closure of The Bull Inn, Hockley, Essex. Not only did I model Strangehaven‘s own Minotaur on The Bull, it was also just about the prettiest, most authentic, lively and friendly country pub in this corner of the world.
The Bull offered quiet lunchtimes, satellite soccer on Mondays, snug winter evenings, warm summer days, raucous Friday nights and a great selection of beers. I have innumerable happy memories in the many years I frequented the place.
In these days of corporate buy-outs, the landlady Val and her son Marco who had been there for twenty years were finally forced out by astronomical rent increases by the new lease owners. Hopefully the new landlords won’t be able to alter the premises due to the fact that The Bull is a listed building and therefore theoretically protected by law.
But my thoughts are with Val and Marco. The Bull won’t ever be the same without them.