This pub was established in 1914 as the British Hotel, taking the name and the licence from the former British Hotel in West Stockwell Street. Almost immediately it was renamed the Drury Hotel and in 1964 it was again renamed the Drury Arms. **
Colchester pub history index
2nd August 2001
Residents at this address
1958/Charles Amey/../../../Black Eagle Journal ***
The Amey family has been in the licensed trade for many years and Charles, our tenant at the Drury Hotel, Colchester, is no exception. In 1933, he assisted his father, who was then tenant of the Ship, Clacton on Sea, until 1937 when, at the tender age of 21, he had the licence transformed to himself. He must surely be one of the youngest men ever to be granted a licence. When the war came three years later, Charles handed over his house and joined the RAF, on the technical side. After serving 3 1/2 years in South Africa, he returned home as manager of the Waggon & Horses, Colchester, where his father was licensee.
In 1950, he and his wife Joan, whom he had met in the Forces, were offered the tenancy of the Crown, Thorpe Le Soken, near Clacton. This house had been terribly neglected, and the stock he took over at the change was valued at 15/-. This was for one bottle of very dubious port type wine, which is still in his possession. Under the Amey's supervision the house very soon changed into a successful one but, after three years, owing to ill health of Mr Amey, Senior, they returned to the Waggon & Horses.
1955 saw Charles applying for the licence of the Kings Arms, St Osyth, near Clacton. Again, this house was a house which had been run down but yet again, they pulled it round and turned it into a flourishing business.
In 1958 the Ameys were offered the tenancy of the Drury Hotel, Colchester, which they accepted. this was ironical, as many years previously, Charles' father had been an unsuccessful applicant for the house!
Like all other houses with which the Ameys had been connected, the Drury prospers. Apart from being an extremely experienced and efficient publican, Charles is also an expert pianist and organist, which is much appreciated by his customers. The house also has a great darts reputation. This is not surprising as Joan Amey is the ladies champion for Colchester. Apart from winning the Trumans Individual Cup for two years running, she and her partner, Mrs Wales, have won the Essex County Standard Doubles Championship three years running, and last year were defeated at Coventry in the Quarter Finals of the National Trophy.
The Drury Hotel was built in 1914 and owes its name to Sir Nicholas Drury, who was the large land owner in the 15th Century. it was originally built speculatively, for if it had not been successful, it was to be converted into two semi-detached houses. However, the barracks are very adjacent and the house was soon popular with the troops, as is the case now. In fact, Drury is known all over the world where British soldiers serve. it is also the nearest pub to Colchester United Football Ground so, as can be imagined, on a Saturday night many arguments ensue. - Black Eagle Journal ***
Charles & Joan Amey, Drury Hotel, Colchester in 1969
Kindly provided by Alex Wilkinson
** Provided by Stephen Harris*
*** Kindly provided by Alex Wilkinson