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Appeal from The Snowdrop Inn

On 11 Sep 2009 at 7:55pm Tony@TheSnowdrop wrote:
Hello everyone. Myself and my partner Dominic are the new owners of The Snowdrop Inn. We are currently closed for some much needed kitchen and cellar improvements but we hope to be ready to re-open on the evening of September 25th.
As most of you are no doubt aware, The Snowdrop Inn was named to commemorate the Lewes Avalanche of 1836. Unfortunately, most of the items held at the pub to mark the tragedy have dissappeared over the years and the last remaining connection to the event was a document, written at the time, describing it in some detail. This has been displayed on the wall of The Snowdrop for as long as anyone can remember and possibly since it was built in 1840. This document went missing just before we were handed the keys.
I understand that with all the uncertainty surrounding the pub in recent years somebody may well have decided to take it upon themselves to safeguard this piece of local history regardless of what happened to the pub. If this is the case I'd like to assure them that we take the history of The Snowdrop Inn and Lewes very seriously and we appeal to them to return it so it can be returned to its rightful place where it can inspire and educate visitors for generations to come.
If anyone knows anything about the whereabouts of this document we'd really like to hear from them. This document is worth very little removed from the context of The Snowdrop and we are willing to offer a reward for any information leading to its recovery.
On 11 Sep 2009 at 8:13pm Mark wrote:
so we are sure to have a gay time then.
Thanks but no thanks.
On 11 Sep 2009 at 8:28pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Most of the old decor from the Snowy over the years has turned up at the Lansdown at some point. Can'#t say I've seen that document though, although I do know the one you mean.

You're taking on quite a task at the Snowy. A succession of dubious managers and owners have all but run it into the ground and it'll take a lot of work to get people back down there again. You're so far out of the way there that it needs to be worth the journey and recently, it hasn't been.

Good luck, if nothing else you can make a fortune selling cans of beer outside on Bonfire Night and not mentioning the profits to the tax man or the brewery (Like every other pub in town does).
On 11 Sep 2009 at 8:53pm TDA wrote:
Mark - nice one - pratt.
Good luck to you both. It used to be the place to be apparently - just needs the right people in charge. Hope you do well.
On 11 Sep 2009 at 8:55pm Pearlie wrote:
Good luck boys. I hope it works out....
On 11 Sep 2009 at 10:46pm MC wrote:
Mark, you are a cretin.
I know nothing of the document but used to love the Snowdrop when the people who now own May's Store on Cliff High street ran it. Have only been back once since that time.... would go back again if it got near to charm (?) it had then.
On 11 Sep 2009 at 11:45pm Smiler wrote:
MC got it almost right
Mark you are a homophobic cretin
The Snowdrop was one of the reasons I moved to Lewes. When Tim and Sue ran it, it was one of the main places people used walk over the downs from Brighton to for Sunday lunch.
The food has never been a crowd puller since then and that something I think you should focus on.
The bizarre uncomfortable japanese furiture upstairs needs to be chucked out and replaced with sofas, newspapers and a pool table, somewhere its ok to take kids at weekends and chill out during the week.
You will probably also need to install a bonfire society for round the clock regulars.
Pool league etc etc.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 12:51am Barney wrote:
Good luck from me too. Good to know there's a new owner. Snowdrop makes a nice starting point for a pub crawl up to the other end of town.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 1:51am Keeley wrote:
All the best with your new venture
On 12 Sep 2009 at 6:14am helpful wrote:
Hi ! Speak to Tim May who lives next door, he knows all the historical pieces that he left there and he may even have or knows where to get copies of this and other historical documents/photos relating to the Snowdrop. Unfortunately a lot of the items were robbed by locals after Tim & Sue left, partly for nostalgia and partly as a "What can we nick from the Snowdrop tonight with out getting caught, coz we dont like it anymore now that its diferent" Anyway speak to Tim, He will be glad to help and i am glad that it doesn't belong to Punch anymore ! Goodluck!
On 12 Sep 2009 at 7:01am 40 something wrote:
It's good to hear that the pub is getting a fresh start and by asking for this missing document shows that you really mean business. Ed Can Do is right so it's good that you're not going in blind. A good website is a must, good food is where the money is and get in touch with 'Viva Lewes' (a little posh glossy freebee mag for snobs) to plug your opening night.
Good luck with everything.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 7:07am Rozzer wrote:
Good luck. I hope things go well as the Snowdrop used to be my favourite pub in Lewes and I'd like to know there is a reason to go there again. And ignore Mark - every village has an idiot.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 9:56am Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
Good Luck Tony - will you be planning a special event on 27th Decenber to commemorate the 173rd anniversary of the avalanche?
On 12 Sep 2009 at 10:11am mr happy wrote:
Is there nothing Webmaster can do when people leave clearly homophobic comments? They ought to be blocked from here. Fair enough if someone expresses a view but to be clearly offensive is out of order.
Good luck with the Snowdrop - my grandmother ran it about 50 years and its a nice pub. My friend said that when it had a vegetarian menu a few years back that it was the best for miles around!
On 12 Sep 2009 at 11:09am poor mark wrote:
Mark. many homophobes are repressed gay men, so maybe you need help.
Good luck with Snowdrop. No reason for it not to be successful.Most of us appreciate those brave enough to give it a go and provide us with ammenities. You could always advertise ex Anchor Inn customers for instant crowds......
On 12 Sep 2009 at 2:16pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
It might also be worth going to the county record office and/or the local history and seeing if they've got any documents that could be copied.
I hope you do well with the pub. It used to be great, and I'm sure it could be again.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 2:37pm Rose Tinted Specs wrote:
You've no chance of making a go of it. No car park, surrounded by controlled parking zone, @rse end of town. Errr good luck with that one.
But seriously, Lewes pubs that get popular have generally two/three years in the sun, then the clouds appear and it's all over. The crowd have found somewhere else.
All you on here that harp on about the halcyon days of the 'Snowy' are really just trying to recapture a time when you were young(er). Accept it, it's over for for the old girl. Go to the place in Fisher Street and sip six quid cocktails while sitting velvet pouffes. Much more fun!
On 12 Sep 2009 at 4:02pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
Hello chaps. Are you doing up the loos as well? I will definately pop in for a drink. Even if you pay for parking, there is normally a space nearby and it only costs 60p per hour.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 4:15pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I don't see that no car park is much of an issue. Most of the town centre pubs don't have them, and there is parking at Cliffe Corner and on the causeway.
I don't think it's much further out than the Gardeners either, and if it gets a name for being a good place to go, I see no reason why it shouldn't do well.
My biggest reservation would be that it's a bit of a barn of a place, and no-one really wants to drink in a pub that feels empty. I wouldn't open the upstairs until the extra space was needed if it was mine.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 5:36pm geoff wrote:
rtwhy would you need to drive to a pub? If its a good pub people will go, and if they need to get homw, can get a cab, or use the same transport they use for any of the other popular pubs. if its rubbish, or no better than any of the other pubs.
On 12 Sep 2009 at 8:08pm harold wrote:
The meridian will be a line of houses within a year btw, just incase anyone wants to buy a goldmine before the builders move in, its to become a free house if you want it .....
On 12 Sep 2009 at 9:40pm council bod wrote:
perhaps the snowdrop would like to host us all to a free meal i am sure we could fill the pub then who knows we could meet up regulary
On 13 Sep 2009 at 4:56pm Hay Nonnie Mouse wrote:
Strewth what's the point in driving to the pub, walk, get a bus, get a taxi.
If it's a decent pub, with reasonable pices and a good atmosphere, better still good food, which no pub in Lewes has achieved yet, then people will beat a path to your door.
On 13 Sep 2009 at 7:38pm Tony@TheSnowdrop wrote:
Thanks to everyone who posted their good wishes and I think well be happy enough to struggle on without Marks patronage.
Ed Can Do: youre absolutely right about the enormity of the task, but we are the first independent owners since Sue and Tim May. To be honest, at the rent that Punch put it out for, nobody ever stood a chance of making it work and no experienced operator would touch the place while they owned it.
Helpful: Tim and Sue have both been extremely helpful and being able to draw on their knowledge and experience is a huge asset to us. Tim has taken care of the document on a number of occasions when hes thought it wouldnt be safe in the pub but alas not this time.
Spinster Of This Parish: I think an event on the anniversary would be great; any ideas gratefully received.
Annette Curtin-Twitcher: Thank you for that excellent idea; Ill be on to it this week. I agree about not opening upstairs immediately; it currently looks like a set from The Young Ones but we are concentrating the TLC on downstairs until we are up and running (Sorry Smiler, but we promise to get around to it as soon as we can, and you are exactly right about the importance of food. We like food!)
Rose Tinted Specs: I think well have to agree to disagree for now but how about a wager? One year from now, if The Snowdrop is thriving you must promise to come in and buy me a pint of Harveys and admit you got it wrong; if Im wrong and you are right then Ill buy you six cans of Stella from Tescos.
No Pot Pourri: The loos are certainly getting some much needed attention before we open. At the moment, emptying the sink in the kitchen floods the Gents!
Once again, thank you so much for all the positive contributions. Im conscious of not turning this post into a free ad, but we hope to welcome (most of) you back to The Snowdrop very soon.
On 13 Sep 2009 at 9:05pm The Power wrote:
We're desperate for a good darts venue. Any chance @ the Snowdrop?
On 14 Sep 2009 at 10:09am Tony@TheSnowdrop wrote:
Hi, The Power. A dartboard is on my shopping list.
On 14 Sep 2009 at 12:13pm Naturist Boy wrote:
Tony, I think you should make real ale a draw of the pub. Harveys plus a couple of interesting beers from micros or less obvious regionals (if turnover on the pumps allows you to keep them all in top condition). Yes I know the Gardeners is round the corner but proper beer drinkers will hunt you out and if you get known among the beardie-wierdies (to quote the Marston's boss) that will help spread the word. Over-lined glasses are sure to be a winner and could be a USP as I'm not sure any other pubs in Lewes use them. Perhaps stock a range of the more obsure Beligian beers in bottle (in fancy glasses if you insist).
On 14 Sep 2009 at 5:40pm 40 something wrote:
Hey, don't I get a thank you?
On 14 Sep 2009 at 7:58pm Tony@TheSnowdrop wrote:
40 something: Oops, sorry to you and any others I left out. Thank you, I have indeed been in touch with Viva Lewes as you suggested.
Naturist Boy: We'll have as many ales as turnover allows, with Harveys & Dark Star as permanent fixtures. We're also looking at something rather special in the lager category. Pubs we've had before have all been tied so this is kid in a sweetshop time! I'm not convinced on the oversized glasses though. Whetherspoons introduced them to great fanfare only to quietly withdraw them after a massive increase in complaints from customers thinking they'd been short-measured.

On 14 Sep 2009 at 10:46pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
You have demonstrated a sense of humour, enthusiasm for making a go of the Snowdrop and desire to listen/cater for the local/potential clientelle.
I sincerely wish you success in your venue and I shall look forward to trying out the new Snopdrop.
PS - Please don't ban dogs or become a child-friendly pub (the type that turns an area of the pub into a ball room for the little peskies). Keep to traditional pub values.
On 15 Sep 2009 at 8:21pm Tony@TheSnowdrop wrote:
Thank you Spinster for your support and we look forward very much to meeting you.
I can assure you that there is no chance of a ban on dogs and we have no plans for any ball rooms although families will be welcome.
On the subject of children in pubs, I spent my earliest years in my grandparents' pub. I used to have my own child-sized tankard and when asked by the regulars what I was having I'd reply, this being the early 70s, "Double Diamond, please." I'd have about a teaspoon of beer topped up with lemonade; I think these days I would have be whisked away by social services. I promise no small children will be allowed to cadge drinks and not stand their round; how's that for a compromise position?
On 16 Sep 2009 at 1:11am The Webmaster wrote:
This is one of the best threads I have ever read on here.
I wish you all the best Tony and if there is anything lewes.co.uk can do to help you please use the contact form to let me know.
The circa 20,000 visits a month this site gets might be a useful space for you to promote The Snowdrop.
On 16 Sep 2009 at 10:41am Maria wrote:
I wish you the best of luck: my last experience of the Snowdrop was dire (as was their advertising board at the bottom of Cliffe High Street - many typos on that), the staff did not know what they were doing, there was no food etc. I used to love this pub, as did many people I know, we all regret its demise. However, the Volunteer has managed to pull things round, so I think you two can too. From what I know you have a good reputation from Brighton, hopefully you can transfer this to a great reputation here. Any help you need...(I am a journalist)
On 16 Sep 2009 at 1:05pm SG wrote:
I agree - that sign was terrible!
I know it's not quite the same, but the library has a huge section full of old Lewes documents and things, it might be worth popping in to see if there's anything useful there.
On 16 Sep 2009 at 1:49pm Lets Do Lunch! wrote:
Or the ESCC Record Office (beside the Maltings Car Park)
On 16 Sep 2009 at 2:20pm Helpful. wrote:
It may also be worth popping into the library,I know they have access to photos and records in there...And Reeves photographers (near St Michaels church) might have photos of the Snowdrop if that is what you want.
On 16 Sep 2009 at 3:34pm Dave wrote:
I hope you do a much better job of 'pulling it round' that the Volly did but then all you'd have to do is make sure there's enough staff on when you get busy, layout the tables so people can get round the place, decorate it comfortably and make it feel like a pub. Simples!
On 16 Sep 2009 at 4:07pm IH wrote:
Any plans for live music of any sort?
On 16 Sep 2009 at 4:42pm Local resident wrote:
Could you make sure that the problem violent drunks will be escorted up South Street like they used to be and yes live music would be good.
On 16 Sep 2009 at 6:25pm Helpful. wrote:
I think one of the most important things is the food.When I worked in the kitchen at the Snowy I'm sure there was a pizza oven on order.Did it ever turn up and if so is it still there?
Good,fresh pizzas could be a real winner.
On 17 Sep 2009 at 4:08pm Mystic Mog wrote:
Please return it to being a vegetarian food only pub. I know others on this forum will disagree and post childish comments. But one of the main reasons for it's sucess, when Tim & Sue ran it, was that it was vegetarian. With over 20 pubs in Lewes, just one that is vegetarian is not much to ask. Also it was in all the vegetarian and vegan guide books. People travelled a long way to go the Snowdrop. The only other choice is the George in Brighton.
On 17 Sep 2009 at 4:53pm Carnivore wrote:
Yes, the veggie stuff was excellent, but it wasn't always just veggie with Tim & Sue. I remember eating really good roast dinners there - every bit as good as those at the Swan.
On 17 Sep 2009 at 8:51pm Mystic Mog wrote:
Not when Tim & Sue ran it.

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