No. 2 - 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

1

Luke Durbin

2

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

3

Mrs Filthy Piece of Toerag

4

Angela Millington (1981 – 2014)

5

The Cheery Street Sweeper

6

Katherine Knight

7

Brenda from Bristol

8

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

9

The Pret Prayer

10

The Pret Sleeper

11

Prince John Zylinski

12

The Pret Spitter

13

Marina Gibson

14

Margaret Wooliscroft

15

Angelo Vizcaino

16

Mr Penny Farthing

17

Adolfo Orsi, Jr.

18

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

19

Mikel Ruffinelli

20

Ziyanda Palesa Tutu

21

Kensington Claus

22

The Knightsbridge rose seller

23

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

24

Paul and Selena Bailey

25

John Bly

26

Joyce Cohen (formerly Joyce McDillon, née Joyce Lemay)

27

Malavath Poorna

28

Linda Sandler

29

Pablo Salcedo

30

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

31

June and Leon Bernicoff

32

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

33

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

34

Sarah Meakin

35

Julia Bradbury

36

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

37

Hannah Campbell (AKA “The Bionic Woman”)

38

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

39

The musical tramp

40

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

41

Charity Charity

42

Kimi Räikkönen

43

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo

44

Kester Thomas (1975 – 2013)

45

Gavin Rankin

46

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

47

Elena Salvoni (1920 – 2016)

48

Sultan Kösen

49

Boaty Boatwright (also known as Boaty Boatwright Baker)

50

Cedric Robinson MBE

51

Oliver Newton

52

Don who's Donna at night

53

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

54

Peter Grace OBE (1938 – 2013)

55

Jim Bowen (born Peter Williams)

56

Derek Bell MBE

57

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

58

£50 grifter

59

Parrot Man

60

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

61

John Gaze (1947 - 2011)

62

Charlie Richardson (1934 – 2012)

63

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

64

Christian Gerhartsreiter (main alias Clark Rockefeller)

65

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

66

Sir Peter O'Sullevan CBE (1918 – 2015)

67

Nancy Wake AC GM (1912 – 2011)

68

Claus Von Bülow

69

Alexander Fiske-Harrison

70

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

71

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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