History of The Hit or Miss
The Hit or Miss and its surrounding village, Penn Street, are brimming with history. The pub’s earliest deeds date back to 1730 and it is known that it opened as a pub on 1st June 1798.
The building that is now known as The Hit or Miss was originally owned by the furniture makers, Dancer and Hearne.
In 1860s William Hearne, a labourer, and his wife Eliza, a lacemaker, established the Hit or Miss pub, amalgamating a series of cottages. Legend has it that there was a one-man workshop shed behind the pub where chairs or parts of chairs were made.
By 1881 William had died and Eliza had married Samuel Dancer, a labourer from Beaconsfield. Samuel took over the Hit or Miss pub. He was recorded as "publican and chair factor". Also living at the Hit or Miss were William Hearne’s son Alfred, age 20, a chair maker. So it appears that Alfred was making chairs while Samuel sold them.
The firm is first recorded in the 1895 trade directory. A photograph of that date shows 31 employees. During WWII the Penn Street factory was given over completely to making parts for the De Havilland Mosquito!
Dancer & Hearne grew steadily to become one of the biggest furniture factories in the area. If you have a wander round the pub, you’ll see a disassembled chair on display as homage to the buildings history.
The unusual name, The Hit or Miss, is a cricketing term, inspired by the pub’s own cricketing team who still play just opposite the pub, during the summer months on Sunday afternoons.
The Hit or Miss has been run for over 12 years by Mary and Michael Macken. They have turned the pub into an award winning establishment, as well as launching the notorious Penn Street Beer Festival, growing bigger and better now over the last 8 years.
The Hit or Miss has great tasting beers, and delicious food (why not try the famous tempura prawns and some of our homemade chips!).
If you would like to take a look around the pub, you will see numerous photographs and documents, showing the history of the pub and its surrounding areas.
About Hall and Woodhouse Brewery
A British regional brewery founded in 1777 by Charles Hall in Blandford Forum, Dorset, UK. The company operates over 250 pubs in the south of England, and brews under the name Badger Brewery. The brewery traces its roots to 1777, when Charles Hall founded the Ansty Brewery. The Hall & Woodhouse partnership itself dates from 1847, when Charles' son and successor went into business with George Woodhouse.
In 1875, the "Badger" logo of the firm was introduced, and in 1900 when a new brewery was built to replace the original, it was named after the logo. The firm remains a family firm.
In 1991 the brewpub Gribble Inn was acquired. Though sold in 2005 back to the landlord, Hall & Woodhouse retained the rights to the brand name Fursty Ferret, the brewpub's most famous beer.
In 2000 the King & Barnes brewery business in Horsham was acquired. The brewery itself was sold off for housing, though Hall & Woodhouse retained the King & Barnes chain of pubs and the rights to the brand names of the King and Barnes beers.