Hereford City Heritage

The Mayor’s Chain

Grapes Tavern, Church Street

Inside this pub, one of the oldest in the City, still with its original outer walling, is the London News Room. This low-ceilinged room with its pew-like rows of fixed arm chairs was the venue for the latest reading of news from London, and a man was employed by the landlord to read the London news. Whenever one of the pubs regulars died, his drinking mug was placed on the table before his seat, draped in black, and his pipe was laid across the top. After his funeral, a new ‘member’ was elected to take his place; these proceedings being customary in the early to mid 19th century.