An original, independent review by :
The Winchester Pub is one of Bournemouth’s quirkiest venues, offering an array of alternative nights, whether it’s for pre-party drinks or to see a local live band.
The pub feels like a giant living room as people relax on the huge sofas, being assured they can make themselves at home by owner Mark. The decoration shows off the 20th century features, but a Buddha in sunglasses over the bar flaunts the outgoing, fun side of the staff and people who come to the pub.
Originally built as a bank in 1911, then becoming an auction house in the late 70s and left unused for years, the events venue has been open for over two years now as The Winchester, doing something different each night of the week.
Owner Mark told BHbeat: “It’s a hub for locals, a place for the community. I love the arts and literature and underground dance. The room somehow always discharges a really good energy. I came from other bars and clubs where I managed and I couldn’t do half the things I do here. It wasn’t until we got to the Winchester in May 2008 that we got to experiment.”
Recently, The Winchester played host to Music Mania’s monthly event showing off bands such as Veetacore and Empire Affair. All the bands that played had their own individual style giving everyone something to enjoy. Creator Alex Marle told BHbeat how interesting it is to see a diverse range of people turning up to watch the bands play.
Alex said: “Music mania was influenced from a friend of mine and he was in a band and moaned that there was nowhere to play. It’s too easy to just chuck on a CD or DJ and just play random chart music to random people; you’re just a number, just another person through the door. At The Winchester it’s actually a bit more personal and people come up to see the bands that their friends or family are in.”
Secret Wars was another event held at the unique pub on 10th June this year, where local artists had a chance to show their creative flair in front of a lively crowd. The event was both competitive and exciting for participators and spectators. The huge blank canvases were filled with art using only black ink for each artist, with Luke Trimmings being crowned the winner. The next Secret Wars event is due to take place on 12th August.
As well as artists and musicians, actors are also a part of The Winchester’s eclectic line-up. Shakespeare’s classic play Much Ado About Nothing was performed in June really showing the diversity of the events as well as the regulars that attend.
The pub also plays host to wedding receptions, birthday parties and so on, and recently hosted a ‘welcome home’ lunch for soldiers from Afghanistan.
Overall, The Winchester seems to be a place that locals want to get involved in, playing host to private parties as well as an eclectic array of arts and literature events. Mark concluded: “We welcome everyone from all walks of life.”