In 1944, the lounge bar of the Golden Lion, Southwick became the unofficial Officers' Mess for the senior Allied Commanders who were planning OPERATION OVERLORD at nearby Southwick House.
During those wartime days, the lounge bar consisted of two rooms, divided by a small bar; the room facing the High Street, being known as the Blue Room with the Gold Room at the rear - their names reflecting the colours of the chairs and decor. The dividing bar was closed due to staff shortages and drinks had to be ordered from the 'Off-Sales' hatch in the corridor.
NOW RE-OPENED being run by Greg and Jane and serving Suthwyk Ales. Contact the pub on 02392 210437
The Blue Room was often used for staff briefings and lectures and because of the highly sensitive nature of the discussions taking place, a Military Police presence was never far away.
General Eisenhower and General Montgomery, the Supreme and Ground Commanders respectively, would use the Gold Room, restricting their visits to late morning, enabling them to enjoy a pre-lunch drink from the comfort of the Lloyd Loom chairs, placed to the left of the open fire. The barmaid at the time, recalls, that often alongside Ike's half-pint of local bitter and Monty's mineral water or fruit juice, would be spread maps and documents. Perhaps the final pieces in the great Overlord jigsaw were put into place in the midday quiet of this English country inn.
Whilst all these far-reaching plans were being laid, Dick Olding, Master Brewer, continued his work in the adjacent Brewhouse ensuring the Golden Lion never ran dry.