The Cat and Custard pot was given its name in 1924 by the Managing Director of the Stroud Brewery who had purchased the property from the Estcourt family for £700. Having to find a name quite quickly so that the establishment could open he took the name from a book he had been reading at the time called Handley Cross by Surtees, in which this fictional festival was mentioned. The strange name was therefore chosen at random from an old hunting tale and did not come from any factual incident in Shipton Moyne's history.
Valerie Grey's grandparents, Mr and Mrs Budd, took over the tenancy at the time, and then her parents, Harold and Esme Ball. The pub has therefore been in the hands of Valerie Grey's family for three generations and continues to be the centre of Village life.
However, the drinking of ale goes a long way back and it is recorded that in 1661 two parishioners were keeping unlicensed alehouses in the village and in 1755 two victuallers were licenced. A beerhouse on the west side of the village street was recorded in the early 19th Century and was presumably occupied by the beer-retailers in the parish later. Apparently still unnamed in 1891, it was at sometime called the Estcourt Arms, as recorded by historians, however, this is denied by Valerie as the Estcourt family had no wish for their name to be associated with a "house of drinking".
(Click on the picture to enlarge it).