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Susan Mockler


Local amateur historian Susan Mockler will be the Athelstan Museum’s first guest speaker at a new series of monthly teatime talks to tell fascinating stories – starting with a history of Malmesbury pubs.

The talks, taking place in the Rausing Building, will begin with Susan sharing her pub tales and the social history of Wiltshire they represent. She has lived in Hankerton for over 40 years and been the chair of Hankerton History Group for 14 years.

She said: “During my talk I’ll explain how, over the centuries, Malmesbury has had many different pubs, inns, breweries, barm shops (which sold the froth from the beer) and beer retailers. However, currently, the town has only nine restaurants, hotels and public houses. Many of the former eating/drinking establishments have been converted to private homes, but their former use can still be easily identified.

“At one time, there were over 50 hostelries in Malmesbury with wonderful names such as The Griffin, The Green Dragon, The Prince and Princess, The White Lion and The Slappy!,” Susan said.

More research, which Susan will share with her audience, has revealed frightening stories of fires, ghosts, attempted murders, political intrigue, elegant balls, political dinners and a mysterious society hosting well-attended meetings. 

Susan will also talk about the Explore Malmesbury website, which features a walk around the town discovering the old inns and pubs.

Although especially knowledgeable on the history of Hankerton, Susan is and has also been very involved with Malmesbury history. In 2019, she worked with members of the Malmesbury & District U3A history group in producing an exhibition on the pubs and inns of Malmesbury. She is also currently vice chair of the Athelstan Museum. 

Susan also gives talks on the Malmesbury Union Workhouse, Malmesbury Stories in the Press in the 1830s, and a World War I talk on three flying heroes. She has been supported in her research by the Malmesbury Civic Society and the History Society.

The new Teatime Talk series starts with Malmesbury Pubs by Susan Mockler on Wednesday February 16 in the Rausing Building. Tea is served at 2.30pm with the talk starting at 3pm. Tickets cost £5 to include refreshments and are available from the Athelstan Museum website at:

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

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