Page updated 18th October 2014
Dating from 1935, this pub has an interesting facade, with a strange blend of Dutch and William Morris style making the central section and end walls very prominent. The roof is covered with green ceramic tiles, thus the name. It was designed by Mr F W Beech.
Green Gables was commissioned by the City Brewery to serve the Broad Meadow Estate, which was built in 1923. The licence of the King's Arms, West Street was transferred to the new pub in June 1935, despite objections from the Exeter United Temperance Society, who argued there were already sufficient drinking facilities in the area. It was estimated there were 2,000 people living in the new houses in the area, and that the existing public houses in the area were crowded in the evening. A petition was signed by 439 owners, ratepayers and householders in the area of Buddle Lane objecting to the new house was considered. It was pointed out there were seven houses within nine minutes walk of the proposed sight. None the less, the transfer of the license was granted.
At the time the Licensing Authorities considered what the new pub should be named–it had been nicknamed 'Green Gables' because of the green roof, and Sir James Owen who presided over the committee considered it a 'pretty name'. In the event, the name was adopted.
1936/39 - Green
Gables PH, George Ernest Castle - Kelly's
1956 - Green Gables, Reginald G Wyatt - Kelly's
Fulford's auctioneers auctioned a cement mixer and Morris 12 van in the yard at the rear of the pub in January 1946. It was by order of the Sheriff of Exeter, indicating the items had been seized, perhaps fo non payment of debt. However, it is not indicated if the Green Gables was involved.
During the 1950's, the pub was noted for the quality of its men's and women's darts teams and they became local league champions. Green Gables closed down twice between 1982 and 1984, with the second closure causing the landlord and his family to lose a lot of money and go into council accommodation.
The pub gradually deteriorated in the new century, and was in a very sorry state. Even so, the interior has been described as a 'tardis'. In October 2014 work commenced to repair and paint the fabric of the building, at a cost of £35,000, and return it to its former glory.
Sources: Western Times and the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette
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