I was mooching around Twitter and saw this! How could I resist exploring further? And so glad I did! A few days later we met up and the name and the face suddenly made sense!
Cath is the mother of one of the most delightful students that I was lucky enough to accompany on the Clevedon School Erasmus+ trip to Belgium last year. Her mother aka The Feisty Mare is Cath Wren – the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Clevedon Pier, that Nicole Laken, the Business Manager spoke so warmly about when I interviewed her mid – October for Humans of Clevedon. I then remembered the name from my days of tweeting for Clevedon School! Yes! It was the very inspirational Cath Wren who founded the Clevedon Girls’ Rugby Club which I’ve chosen not to expand on here because these girls are really worth a dedicated blog post.
Cath is married and her husband Chris is a woodworker at Paragon Landscaping based at Dowlais’ Farm in Clevedon. Cath and Chris have three children Rosie 14, Tabby 11 and Jimi 9 and the family have lived in Clevedon for twelve years. Cath used to work at the Montessori School with Maureen Burgoyne; she then moved to North Somerset’s Domestic Abuse Team and then for Women’s Aid in Bristol. Cath has a twin sister who lives in Dublin and her mother lives in Nailsea.
As well as bringing up her family, being the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Clevedon Pier and managing girls and women’s rugby at the club, Cath also works on the National Domestic Violence Helpline in Bristol. She is someone who is committed to supporting her community and has a particular concern for the psychological well-being of girls and women.
And now Cath and her family are the proud owners of The Feisty Mare which is a horse box purchased in Wales and lovingly converted to a mobile drinkery. I wondered how this had come about! Sadly, Chris’ grandmother passed away and left the family a small amount of money. Being an amazing cook Chris had always wanted to have some sort of mobile catering business which they could involve the children in and indeed pass on to them. They started with the idea of a pop-up pizza bar but the horse box was too heavy and the pizza ovens themselves are very heavy which would have made it impossible to tow. They decided to turn it into a bar on the occasion of a friends 5oth birthday; the said friend was looking for a spirits’ bar.
Team Wren and Chris’ work colleagues from Paragon lovingly converted it to a bar over a five week period in the summer holidays. The paint colour for the exterior is Vardo and was mixed by Symphony coatings in Clevedon.
A Vardo is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people as their home. Possessing a chimney, it is commonly thought of as being highly decorated, intricately carved, brightly painted, and even gilded.
The interior of The Feisty Mare is magnificent and reflects Chris’ considerable skills. Everything inside is made from scaffolding planks that have been cut, sanded and finished by hand along with stunning copper work which creates a warm, shimmering effect when the lights are dimmed. A vintage style ladder donated by a friend, has been given the same loving treatment and now hangs down the middle,The adorned with fairy-lights and fresh hops. They are planning to put up an extendable bar over the hitch and put stools around that area so people will stay and chill out and it will be like a mini bar. There are candles everywhere so the overall effect is a cosy, warm, welcoming environment. Cath felt that it was great for the children to see a project with limited finances grow with the help and support of friends.
The Feisty Mare was recently at the Portishead Fireworks Show and is attending Smelters Boxing Club in Sea Mills next week, they are going to be doing the Classic Car Show in Clevedon next year and have a wedding booked for May. She is available for weddings, celebrants, private parties and rendezvous’, hen & stag parties, festivals, wakes, school fairs and community events (the list is endless) and is hired as a fully stocked bar along with experienced staff. The base cost is £250 to hire from one to five hours and if you want to party deep into the night, it’s £50 per hour for the first additional two hours, and then £100 per hour for anything after. There is no additional cost for her to be towed within a 50 mile radius of Clevedon. Not surprisingly, given the Wren’s commitment to the community, there is no base charge for school fairs and community events, in fact they offer to donate some of their profits to these establishment. It’s a win-win situation really.
Cath is very keen to stock The Feisty Mare as locally as possible with some exceptions, as there are some stunning gins from Ireland, and she is a bit of a traveller after all. She stocks Glede ales from the micro-brewery in Clevedon, award-winning ciders produced by the duo Ganley & Naish, as well as Lyme Bay, Quick, Celestine Spa, and Psychopomp gins from Bristol. Fruits and herbs either come from gardens or from Carl at the Veg Box. She has an array of other ‘standard’ spirits as well, so there is always something a little special for everyone. They are always on the look out for new products from the South West, so if you are reading this and know of any grassroots company that they can help promote, then get in touch mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 07804833345.
Some of the cocktails look fabulous! I liked the look of the Dirty Mojito – double measures of rum spiced, dark or white, Funkin sugar syrup, Fentimans’ club soda, lime, lots of ice and fresh ripped mint. However, I hadn’t seen the Raspberry Gin Fizz which is Mil gin, raspberry liqueur, fresh lime, muddled raspberries, soda, Funkin sugar syrup, lots of ice and garden fresh rosemary! I wasn’t surprised when Cath told me how popular this was!
I asked Cath if she would ever consider giving up one of her many jobs to devote more time to The Feisty Mare but she likes the balance of all her jobs – each one brings her into contact with different groups of people which she loves. Getting to meet people and sharing banter at the bar is great and it’s really good fun but at the end of the day, she wouldn’t want to give up anything she currently does.
It was great interviewing Cath and I know we’ll be seeing each other again. I would definitely like to meet up with the girls and ladies at the rugby club and she spoke so warmly about a number of Clevedon business’ that I’d love to know more about and include on the website.
I am sure that Cath’s business acumen combined with the great relationships she has in the community will make The Feisty Mare a resounding success.
Find out more about The Feisty Mare here: