Steve Cotten (AKA ‘Britain’s Grumpiest Landlord’)

Alongside a cat (yes, a cat) named ‘(Frederick Albert) Hitler’ as his barman, the landlord of the “maddest pub in Britain” Steve Cotten is not known for being the most involved of hosts. On TripAdvisor, whilst one grumbler pointed out that his attitude to diners is: “If you want to eat, bring your own food… Or use the kitchen yourself,” Devon Live noted in February 2020 that Prince Harry and Damien Hirst are “fans” of the “off-grid,” Fawlty Towers-esque The Poltimore Arms in South Molton, Devon. The pub has no website, no television, no Wi-Fi, no fruit machines and no telephones and is powered by solar panels, but for lovers of craft ales and locally produced spirits, a woman going by the name ‘The Real Ale Girl’ operates a “secret weapon… emporium” selling such in a back room.

Summing up his refreshingly no-nonsense approach to running his business, Steve Cotten once commented: “I just make it up as I go along.  I might not know how to run a pub but I know what’s wrong with every pub I’ve ever been in. There’s no landlord anywhere, nobody talks to each other.  I involve the whole community – everyone knows it’s not my pub, it’s everybody’s pub… We are a dark and cold and miserable boozer – and that’s what people like about it… They all know you can do what you want here, use it for what you want, come here on your own at any time of the day or night and help yourself to a tea or coffee. Everybody will talk to everybody… You can discuss any topic under the sun here, nothing is taboo… Everyone has a go serving behind the bar, we all have a laugh and everyone joins in… No one else talks to them like crap like I do.

Frankly, one is simply left asking: “Why aren’t there more places like this?” Cheers to Steve Cotten.

The Roll Call - CHARACTERS

Steve Cotten (AKA ‘Britain’s Grumpiest Landlord’) – The Politmore Arms, Yarde Down, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3HA – Alongside a cat named ‘Frederick Albert Hitler’ as barman, landlord of the “maddest pub in Britain” Steve Cotten is certainly eccentric.

1

Steve Cotten (AKA ‘Britain’s Grumpiest Landlord’)

2

Mrs Filthy Piece of Toerag

3

Angela Millington (1981 – 2014)

4

The Cheery Street Sweeper

5

Katherine Knight

6

Brenda from Bristol

7

The Cross Word Couple (AKA ‘The Crossword Couple’)

8

The Pret Prayer

9

The Pret Sleeper

10

Prince John Zylinski

11

The Pret Spitter

12

Marina Gibson

13

Margaret Wooliscroft

14

Angelo Vizcaino

15

Mr Penny Farthing

16

Adolfo Orsi, Jr.

17

Helen Brach (AKA “The Candy Lady”, 1911 – 1977, body never found)

18

Mikel Ruffinelli

19

Ziyanda Palesa Tutu

20

Kensington Claus

21

The Knightsbridge rose seller

22

Sam Malin and Irène Major (AKA “Lord and Lady Hailes”)

23

Paul and Selena Bailey

24

John Bly

25

Joyce Cohen (formerly Joyce McDillon, née Joyce Lemay)

26

Malavath Poorna

27

Linda Sandler

28

Pablo Salcedo

29

Pedro López (AKA “The Monster of the Andes”)

30

June and Leon Bernicoff

31

Leah Chase (AKA “The Queen of Creole Cuisine”)

32

Dominic and Stephanie Parker (AKA “The Posh Couple”)

33

Sarah Meakin

34

Julia Bradbury

35

Raine Spencer; Raine, Countess Spencer (AKA “Acid Raine”)

36

Hannah Campbell (AKA “The Bionic Woman”)

37

Candida Lycett Green (1942 – 2014; nicknamed “Wibz”)

38

The musical tramp

39

Doris Thompson MBE OBE (1903 – 2004) and Geoffrey Thompson (1936 – 2004)

40

Charity Charity

41

Kimi Räikkönen

42

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo

43

Kester Thomas (1975 – 2013)

44

Gavin Rankin

45

Marina Oswald Porter (born Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova, Russian: Марина Николаевна Прусакова)

46

Elena Salvoni (1920 – 2016)

47

Sultan Kösen

48

Boaty Boatwright (also known as Boaty Boatwright Baker)

49

Cedric Robinson MBE

50

Oliver Newton

51

Don who's Donna at night

52

Captain Pugwash (AKA ‘Captain’ Michael M. Maricic)

53

Peter Grace OBE (1938 – 2013)

54

Jim Bowen (born Peter Williams)

55

Derek Bell MBE

56

Pamela Jennings (better known as “Soho Pam”, 1964 - 2013)

57

£50 grifter

58

Parrot Man

59

Jocelyn Wildenstein (née Périsset and also known as “Jocelynnys Dayannnys da Silva Bezerra”)

60

John Gaze (1947 - 2011)

61

Charlie Richardson (1934 – 2012)

62

Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees (1925 – 2012)

63

Christian Gerhartsreiter (main alias Clark Rockefeller)

64

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia LVO (Fiona Shackleton)

65

Sir Peter O'Sullevan CBE (1918 – 2015)

66

Nancy Wake AC GM (1912 – 2011)

67

Claus Von Bülow

68

Alexander Fiske-Harrison

69

Lord Lucan (also known as Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan)

70

Umberto Scomparin

5 COMMENTS

  1. If there were more pubs like this, then fewer of them would be closing. People would go for the fun of it – just like Prince Harry did.

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