Barge Inn, Honey Street to re-open as live music venue

Darren Simons and Violet McLaren, owners of Swindon’s best known music venue the Victoria, are taking over as the new tenants at the Barge Inn, Honey Street on 21st April. The Vic has an excellent reputation as a live music venue so it looks like the future of the Barge, which is one of the places at the heart of the boating community on the K&A, and also has a large following of crop circle enthusiasts, campers and festival-goers, is secure at least in the medium term.

The Barge Honeystreet

However the recent separation of the camp site and the new barn/ art gallery from the pub may mean that the pub is less viable on its own. At the March 10th meeting of Alton Parish Council, local residents and boaters agreed that the Barge Inn should be registered as a community asset, however it was not possible to go ahead at that meeting because the owner Ian McIvor was not present.

Many regulars of the Barge, and local residents, have been concerned that the owner may apply for planning consent to change the use of the pub to residential, which would be extremely profitable. Mr McIvor claims that he would not do this. The pub is currently for sale without the camp site or the new barn, and the camp site is also for sale as a separate business. The Barge was managed for the two years up to January 2016 by Sharon and Mark Daniels and their family.

Darren and Violet are currently recruiting for bar and kitchen staff: contact

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One Response to “Barge Inn, Honey Street to re-open as live music venue”

  1. Andrew Lingard MonsterID Icon Andrew Lingard says:

    There can be no doubt that the future of the pub without the campsite business is not tenable. The Design and access statement publicly available on wilts cc website states unequivocally that the pub is not viable without the campsite.
    The below is pasted directly from the doc, written by Mr McIvors architects in 2014 as part of the planning application for development.

    The Barge Inn is a very seasonal pub; It is very popular in summer with boaters,
    walkers, cyclists, tourists and, of course, crop circle followers. Seventy five
    percent of its annual turnover is earned in the summer months when camping is
    available. In winter months, when the campsite is closed, it operates at a loss.
    The campsite is essential to the pub’s ongoing viability. In summer, very many of
    those eating and drinking in the pub are also camping at the site. Many of these
    customers spend more per head on food and drink than day visitors, as they are
    not driving and are in ‘holiday’ mode.