The following is a reproduction of the article published in the Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRAs magazine, Ale Mail, and written by Patrick Miller
On a mild October evening, many members of Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRA braved the journey to Gosport, be it by land or sea, to present Eddie and Sue Lampon of the Queens Hotel with the Pub of the Year award for 1993. The award is for consistently served beer at an excellent standard, a welcoming atmosphere, a fine range of differing beers, a sense of community and a commitment to the ideals of the Campaign for Real Ale – qualities which all who frequent the Queens will confirm that Eddie and Sue certainly display.
The pub, for those who don’t know, is situated on the junction between Queens Road and Kings Road, and is an ornate, three storey building with decorative plastering just below the roof level. Also, above the old corner door, one can see two plaster heads; a Queen’s Head on the King’s Road side and a King’s Head on the Queen’s Road side. Now, if that won’t be enough to confuse you after an evening in the pub, nothing will.
1841 – Queen’s Opens
The Hotel was built shortly after the arrival of the railway line to Gosport in 1841, and was originally owned by W. Hobbs, who also had a brewery nearby in Stoke Road. Originally, an elm-lined footpath, known as Drummer’s Walk, ran from Gosport railway station to the Queens Hotel, and traces of this path could have been seen up until the late Seventies when a new housing estate emerged and covered the path forever. The Hotel was originally popular with commercial travellers, who wanted accommodation in Gosport, but where looking for something a little cheaper than the Railway Hotel.
QUEENS HOTEL - PUB OF THE YEAR '93
In 1913, the pub was sold to the Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries, who were, themselves, taken over by Brickwoods, Portsea in 1953. Brickwoods where subsequently taken over by Whitbread, and by 1977, Whitbread felt that the Queens had to close.
Queens - Free House!
After being closed for 2 years, May 2nd, 1979 saw a local publican, Jackie Carr, re-open the Queens Hotel, and now, for about ten years, the pub has been successfully run by Eddie and Sue Lampon. The Queens is widely recognised as a 'mecca' for real ale drinkers - as demonstrated by the award from CAMRA. The current range of beers (1993) include Ringwood 49er, Fuller's London Pride and Archer's Village Bitter, plus at least two guest beers every week. Also, a real cider is available on hand pump and an array of tasty bar snacks. In winter, a focal point is the large open fire, which can only add to the traditional atmosphere. Next time you are in Gosport, call in. I'm sure you will agree that the Queen's Hotel is a worthy winner of our Pub of the Year award.