Support Our Swan
The Swan in Clewer, Windsor has been closed for over three years. We now own it and have started the required renovation work required. Our vision is to restore it as a local pub, a real community hub and as a social enterprise assisting young people with additional needs. However, The Swan needs significant work by us - this is being funded by the local community.
Volunteer Day - Saturday 2nd March
Our next volunteer day is on Saturday 2nd March.
The success of the last volunteer weekend surpassed all our expectations so we cannot wait to have all you hard working folk back again to see what can be achieved this time. Any new faces are more than welcome too, we would love to see you all there!Tasks on the day will be stripping wallpaper, sanding back doors and windows, as well as other jobs to help create a blank canvas, and allow the building to breathe again, ready for the next building work to take place.
Start times are at 9am and 12:45pm on the day as you must complete a brief safety induction before commencing work on site. As before you must pre-register and attend a safety briefing.Details about registering and more information can be found on the volunteering page.
Progress with the Refurbishment
During the week, we have a number of people and companies going in to work on The Swan. They have a veriety of skills and time available. We are trying to record what is going on so we can share on an ongoing basis.
As with all refurbishments, it will look worse before it gets better. Honest.
Since the volunteering day in early February:
- Sootbusters have inspected three of the five chimneys, the other two will need further investigation.
- Actually since then, we have found another one hidden behind plaster.
- Taken down the ceiling in the office.
- Removed the rotten floor boards in the bar area.
- Opened up several airbricks that had been sealed and prevented the building breating properly.
- Taken more of the bar walls back to the brickwork.
- Removed the old radiators and sinks as well as fixing leaking pipes.
- Removal of dangerous slates from the stables' roof.
There is still plenty more to do. See the recent photos here. We will be posting more as we go along. For example, planned activities include:
- Scaffolding to go up in the next week to ten days to allow work on the roof, gutters and windows.
- Tarpaulin will be go over the stables to prevent the ingress of water.
- The plumber (a volunteer) carry on his work to sort out, and where appropriate modernise, the pipe work.
We're pleased to tell you that, and thanks to your support, we've hit our £200,000 funding target and filled our barrel to overflowing. That is a fantastic achievement and reflects the determination to save the Swan by almost 200 contributors.
As of Friday 22nd February, our total is £238,556.50 – made up of:
- £216,000 in shares,
- £20,556.50 in loans and
- £2,000 in a charitable donation.
As the volunteers from the site clearance weekend will testify, the pub is not in a good state. In fact, we now know that we need to spend more than we budgeted to get the pub into a basic state to open by St. George's Day. For the next few weeks contractors will be in making structural repairs and fixing the roof to make the building watertight once again.
As many of you have said you'd still like to invest, we've set a new target and limit of £250,000 in investor shares.
However when we reach that, we’ll close the share offer. In any case, whether the offer is fully subscribed or not, we'll close it before we open the pub. Your shares will be designated as Founder shares and no more will be issued on those terms. We still plan to issue share certificates within six weeks of completing the purchase of the pub. We will be issuing a “prospectus” to clarify terms shortly.
At present there is no limit on the number of loans (below £1,000) or charitable donations that we are accepting.
Please give generously
The finance has been made up of a mortgage augmented by funds from the two main business investors, Will Calvert and Richard Allen for The Green Room School.
However, even with the substantial support that is being given, we need £250,000 to support the first phase of the renovations required. We are therefore continue to seek further help from the local community through potential investment; this is from people who care about supporting social enterprises such as The Swan or simply care about local community life.
Local supporters have generously invested, but we still need your help and additional investments to make this vision a reality.
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Soaked in history
The Swan always been more than just a watering hole for thirsty locals. Situated on Mill Lane within the Clewer Village area of Windsor, it's a leisurely 20 minute walk from Windsor Castle. The Swan dates from the 18th century, and during its long history has served as a coaching inn and courthouse. It's also been known variously as The Swan Inn and The Swan Hotel too.
According to local folklore, there is a tunnel linking The Swan to the local church of St Andrews. There is a debris filled hole within the pub which is claimed to be the entrance. Whether this is true, or one of the Victorian pranks common in Windsor, is unclear. Around the 1870s, the coroner held inquests and post mortems at The Swan for those that had drowned in the nearby Thames. It is said that the last journey of those unfortunate souls was through the tunnel to the church.
Being close to the Thames Path for walkers, National Routes 4 and 61 for cyclists, and the Royal Windsor Racecourse means that this community hub is never too far from the action. It finally closed in 2016.
Now it's our turn to open its doors and write the next chapter in its long-standing history.