An old name returns to Newbury's Market Place – complete with a hint of Dumbo

elephant market

Last weekend, I was walking past the Queen’s Hotel in Newbury’s Market Place. It’s currently surrounded with scaffolding, as they refurbish it. I noticed the letters “EM” and “No.8” painted on the big door. A quick Google failed to reveal the meaning of these letters. But when I got home I found that the “EM” stands for “The Elephant at the Market” which is the new name of the pub/hotel there, set to open in March.

That was quite a surprise. An elephant? In the market place? How strange.

But not quite that strange. I find that there was an “Elephant and Castle” pub in the market place in the 1851 census. Marston’s, who own the outfit, have obviously been doing their homework.

I noted the embryonic pub’s elephant logo, with the flag in the trunk (above).

Then, a few days later, I remembered what it reminded me of.
The first film I watched was Dumbo, the Disney cartoon about the circus elephant who could fly. I remember a scene when an elaborate circus trick collapsed in chaos, leaving poor little Dumbo (pictured) to carry out his bit in the trick, bravely waving the flag in his trunk.

Yes, it’s Dumbo in the Market Place!