Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dove Pub

Former Dove Pub
Dove Pub

Location: 119 Orts Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3JN, UK 

Opened: ?

Closed: August 2004

At a website called Reading Pubs one finds the following terse announcement:

Dove (Orts Road) - Lesbian bar closed down in August 2004 - people are being pointed to the new Gravity nightclub above Cafe Du Sport in St. Marys Butts.

For a time (c. 1992-1999), Dove Pub was managed by a married couple, George and Rose Scott. In her obituary, Rose, the landlady, was described as "popular" and as a "feisty Scot." She died at the age of 69 in 2007. It is not clear whether Dove Pub was a lesbian bar during this period, or just later.

According to the Lost Pub Project, Dove Pub was demolished shortly after it closed its doors and was replaced with flats. But before that happened, Dove Pub (a/k/a Dove Public House) was the subject of an archaeological evaluation in March 2006--about the only time I can ever recall the site of a former lesbian bar being the subject of such a study. Despite some "individual findspots" suggesting prehistoric (Bronze Age) activity at the site--and even Medieval evidence "possibily associated with a leper hospital" (!)--the redevelopment went through as planned.

I can't help but imagine this scene around 2,000 B.C. I see Bronze Age Beaker women decked out in crescent-shaped necklaces and other finery, their hair elegantly dressed in bone pins. They are laughing, flirting, and teasing--as they sip their honey-based mead out of S-shaped mugs.... 

Photo: Dove Pub

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